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This poem is taken from PN Review 268, Volume 49 Number 2, November - December 2022.

Three Poems Audrey Henderson
Requiring Wings

This was the zenith of the day – west wind, rent clouds over the hills, the roar
of air and leaves, stupefaction of the drought-stricken land after rainfall,
the grass eager to be green, even in October. Some cars drive by, early
afternoon, raw sunlight, all of it laying stunned, like flesh under a ripped-off
Band-Aid. I am the soggy flesh puckered and tender. Does the season change
or does the North just find us again. I had never not known freedom, and what
I now know is that freedom contains fancy, a zephyr of thought, that passes
through the room, skimming our heads on the way, and an important element
of fancy is motion. Fancy is going somewhere; contains possibility, chance,
delight. The permanent wasps on our storm window buzz briefly, they walk
most of the time, sniffing the aluminum, but out of some kind of boredom maybe,
they buzz, requiring wings. When you are raised clinging to a drum, a backbone
of earth, when your first geology is raised above a panorama, then the wind threatens
to detach, the light annihilate. I try to start, I try to start again and the lack of air,
the lack of the zephyr, the day’s bee-flower, its scent, well, it isn’t there.

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