40: Kettling

40: Kettling

40: Kettling

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by January Gill O'Neil

The low winter sun made driving difficult.
To look down the black asphalt
blurred my eyes. So for a few moments
I looked away, studying
the rock ridges and cliffs carved
out of cragged earth, the
marshy fields of phragmites
their silken heads standing swordlike
in the steady wind.

Above, a kettle of vultures
soared on the thermals, shadows
flying in upright spirals. You can’t understand
in that moment how I yearned to be free,
free of the body and all its fog,
untouchable under the whisper of heaven,
rising and falling under my own power,
a current running in me and through me.
A whim of wind, a miracle.

I followed the span of wings
until I had seen enough, until
the long vine of highway
called me back to this world, said
keep going.

“Kettling", from REWILDING by January Gill O'Neil. Copyright © 2018 by January Gill O'Neil. Used by permission of CavanKerry Press.