Green Feathers

Five minutes till dawn
and a moist breath of pine resin comes to me
as from across a lake. It smells of wet lumber, naked and fragrant,
whose sap is another nostalgia.
In the early air
we keep trying to catch sight of something lost up ahead,
a moment when the light seems to have seen us
exactly as we wish we were.
Like a heap of green feathers poised on the rim of a cliff?
Like a sure thing that hasn’t quite happened?
Like a marvelous idea that won’t work?
Routinely amazing—
how moss tufts, half mud, keep supposing
almost nothing is hopeless. How even the bluest potato
grew eyes on faith the light would be there
and it was.
—Reg Saner