Saturday, 6 June 2020

'Homing' by Jason Jackson

Distance, soft as sickness, holds you close, and you think about white birds transported in cages, ready to fly home. You think about how they know: science, biology, magnetic hearts. Their little pigeon-rhymes remember landmarks: water-towers; pylons.

There are solar flares; there is the moon.

It must be a strange imbalance, the tide-pull, the dragging weight. Blood in veins, unsettled. You’re acquainted with hope’s persistence, uncertainty’s churn, and you know how particular weathers might blow a bird off-course. Radiation. Eclipse. Power lines and predators.

Through circuitous routes, birds get lost.

But imagine that final stillness of arrival! The warmth of hay, the beating of a slowing heart. Imagine a darkness where everything knows its place.

How home must feel, to one who knows.

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