it appears
from nowhere
just where you’ve been
soars up over the trees of home
swirls around
into the face of the wind
to work its way hanging and sliding
sliding and then wing spread
tacked almost immobile
searching for, finding and riding
the updrafts
slipping away downwind
before the stall can happen
always moving
the least bit
the broad wings flutter
the tension of the cross
a dark form against the sky
that flashes color in the sun
as if to answer the question
we do not know how to ask
with an answer
we can never understand
until way too late.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.