My past was a trail of bread crumbs,
My present – a small dog, a pink dress,
A new bike, a river deep with dreams.
Your gingerbread classroom loomed in the woods
Along the muddy hills of my future.
My desk teetered on the edge of the abyss.
The winds tore at its tattooed legs.
Eagles soared like amber-eyed angels
Over the smoky, still forests below.
From you I learned
To sniff the danger on the breeze;
The art of pouncing on the rabbit
As it trembles in its tunnel;
The patience of the butterfly
Forming in the chrysalis;
The weight of wings;
The treachery of twilight.
I am with you, Miss McNight.
I am the shadows that nibble
The stale crusts of your cruelty.
I am the hole in the cocoon.
I am fear-of-wing-beats-approaching.
I am the ladybug
That saves the garden.
I am the bucket of water
That can melt you in an instant,
The arms that will shove you in an oven
As you scurry through the schoolroom door.
I am emerald ribbons, clean brown hair.
I am the night held back
With blue barrettes.
Susan Doran, BA (Hons); Child & Youth Counselor (CYC), is a long-time professional writer as well as a Toronto-based specialized emergency foster parent and a family access centre coordinator. Last summer she completed Adoption Competency Training and she has contributed to the ACO's blog before. The Weight of Wings previously appeared in the literary publication Descant.
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