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Annie the Bard, Ann Bardens-McClellan

Against Gravity

for Bobbi, the potter


Brown eyes snapping
in her gentle face,
she shows me her winged
sculpture in the kiln. Hands
together as if in prayer
she says: I hope it's not
too heavy, too thick to fire
without cracking.
I have to try.


We walk the beach,
and see the gull, wings
still spread in flight, tips
of blue feathers pointing
the way...

        once it soared,
        its body a kite...


now neck snapped,
body crumbling in sand,
its spirit still resists death
in every broken bone.

Watching the dip and flow
of shore birds, I think
of her potter's kiln baking clay
she has formed with her mind,
with her hands. I see the sculpture
crack and she, breathing a sigh,
sets her jaw, begins again...

Reborn, the sculpture rises
like a gull skimming across water
on determined wings.

        oh   that moment
        when you lift off and fly
        on your own     taking     breath     after
        breath     of pure air     riding
        the crest of the current...


I surrender my gravity
to her grace.    Heat of her fire
transforms my voice.       My words
take wing and
                weightless
they fly.

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