Only the best trickster gods
have wings. Beating away at
the dried browned grass,
they knead the air and earth together
in the stone bowl of a yeasty, wet spring,
fooling us with movement and stories
that only let us see shadowy parts of things.
There are layers and layers
of air and birdsong and grass
that only a woodcock can lay claim to
strutting in that flat dinner plate of prairie.
For us, each step closer is a snap of grass,
but the only way to know it is to lie on it
and to feel it’s sharp ceramic crack underneath you.
I can stand still, feel my feet in the fragile brotherhood
of all the things in motion—
fluid wings, the unsettled earth, the ungrown grass,
a frog-chorused April dusk against
that fluttery squeak of flight,
which is not so much an awakening,
but the audible refilling of the haunted earth.
by Paul Wiegel
Paul Wiegel is a Green Bay native and now writes from his home near the upper Fox River in Wisconsin. His work is forthcoming in The English Journal, Eunoia Review, and Hermeneutic Chaos Journal. He is the 2015 winner of the John Gahagan Poetry Prize.