March/April 2010

Cover: Photograph (Tree #3, 2006) by Myoung Ho Lee

A Book Said Dream and I Do

There were feathers and the light that passed through feathers.

There were birds that made the feathers and the sun that
       made the light.

The feathers of the birds made the air soft, softer

than the quiet in a cocoon waiting for wings,

stiller than the stare of a hooded falcon.

But no falcons in this green made by the passage of parents.

No, not parents, parrots flying through slow sleep

casting green rays to light the long dream.

If skin, dew would have drenched it, but dust

hung in space like the stoppage of

time itself, which, after dancing with parrots,

had said, Thank you. I’ll rest now.

It’s not too late to say the parrot light was thick

enough to part with a hand, and the feathers softening

the path, fallen after so much touching of cheeks,

were red, hibiscus red split by veins of flight

now at the end of flying.

Despite the halt of time, the feathers trusted red

and believed indolence would fill the long dream,

until the book shut and time began again to hurt.

Barbara Ras received the Walt Whitman Award in 1997. Her newest poetry collection, The Last Skin, was published in spring, 2010. She directs Trinity University Press in San Antonio, Texas.