The Hawk-Kite, Maggie Smith

The Hawk-Kite

The girl seems to fly
the hawk above her, a kite of feathers

and flesh and bones. She doesn’t feel
the invisible string in her hand

but must hold it. When she runs,
the hawk-kite sails with her.

When she stands still in the field,
he hovers above her, projecting

his shape like a haunting, an overlay
of feathers printed on her skin.

Wearing the black lace of another’s
shadow all the days of her life

changes her. The girl looks down
at her own pale arms and sees wings.

[ This is a poem by Maggie Smith published in the Fall 2014 issue of Virginia Quarterly Review. Maggie Smith’s website is: – her second book of poems, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison will be published in March 2015 by Tupelo. ]

About Michael Johnson

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