Collecting Feathers, February Mornings by Laura Isabela Amsel

Collecting Feathers, February Mornings
by Laura Isabela Amsel

Among mockernut and sugar maple, 
pawpaw and red oak, I hunt for feathers. 
You should know they never fill the empty 
pockets of my sweater. I’m only collecting 
evidence my life will grow back: kneeling 
to brush aside leaf litter and lichen— verdigris-
green and leathery-white. I’m only searching
squirrel-furrowed dirt, grass in flattened furls
where the deer bed down. Canebrake, pines,
the juniper grove. You should know 
I’m only teaching my eyes to look up from
the floor, from fallen leaves, from pine needles,
into the hickory on the clearing’s edge
at the ridge-crest, to find a goldfinch,
re-feathered, yellow, preened to glowing.

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Laura Isabela Amsel was born in the Mississippi Delta region and now lives in Madison, Mississippi. She holds an MA in Spanish from Middlebury College and is currently studying with the poet Jon Davis. Her poems have appeared in The Gordon Square Review, The Arlington Literary Journal, and Crosswinds Poetry Journal.

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