Thresholds

~ after "Ave Cantora" ("Singing Bird"), Armando Valero

We've waited to see       the night-     blooming cereus open 
The egret tip its head    toward the lake          Water
a white skein         winding between towns      A fingernail
A row of hills       The next century        growing louder  
I heard someone say       inertia      But in Japan the cherry
trees flowered again      When birds covered   with their whole wings 
Chaos a checkerboard       Beauty and poetry    a kind of contraband 
A questionnaire            A survey                    Yes things  
formerly winged      will tremble        Not failed  Merely lost      
Here                Help them              get across                              

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