feather on down the line—Alan Bern
She floated along the aisle to pass the peace,
angling off to a window during the hymn.
Talk of debt seemed to wake her, and threat
of the soup kitchen’s closure sharpened her
focus. She declared that someone should
step up to prevent all this loss.
“Had the first trip bored me, or scared me,” she
would explain at meetings, “I might have
been a pediatrician or a pastor.” But
recovery eluded her like a toddler, giggling.
Her next days were photocopies until the
paper bin emptied.
“How to proceed?” she wondered, finding herself in
a woods, the voices having silenced. Leaves
covered the trails, snow would soon follow,
and who among the passersby could be
trusted? Meanwhile, a barred owl stirred in
the beeches above, preparing for night.