Gullwing

Found a gullwing in the woods
broken fan of gray feathers
held with sinew
glassine remains of skin.

Spine of each pin feather
large enough to make a pen
some feathers wattled others
solid driftwood, scree, and clinker ash,

each feather only itself — this one
white at the skin end
blacker towards the tip
then white silk
tapering — tissue and fiber

that held the gull in glide
above the wrack line.
Hunger to see and see again
brought the wing into the house
hunger to hear still the riffle.

Alison Hawthorne Deming is a winner of the Walt Whitman Award, finalist for the PEN Center West Award, and a former Stegner Fellow. She is the author of seven books of poetry and essays, and her work has been published widely in journals and magazines including The Georgia ReviewEcotone, and OnEarth. Her most recent book is Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit published by Milkweed Editions. She is the director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona and a board member of Orion Magazine.