Two feet of wing feather
from a turkey in molt,
found me on the mountaintop I haunt.
It was our first truly warm day,
when layers, wool, and woodstoves
could be relegated to memory and bodies
recollected their intrinsic lightness.
Hours before, I crossed a stream
that pushed the raw redolence of thaw
into my winter lungs. And later,
close to the summit,
an acre of leaf litter that had erupted
in mayapples, trillium, and violets
shred the shroud that had separated me
I planted the calamus of that feather
into the fresh grave of my friend
who was still hanging around
out of reluctance, she said,
to leave her temporal body behind.
No excuses, I replied.
The spirit of the incarnating earth
has gifted you