Snow Geese – for Jane Dougherty

Where are you going, my brothers?
With your wings spreading out
Like the clouds that roll in from the north
And the snowflakes drifting down from your wings
Like sparks from a fire?

Where are you going, my brothers?
Wheeling high over the wide world
Heading west with the sun
While I wait, weaving my words into cloth
Hiding myself from the glare of the sun?

Where are you going, my brothers?
Your wild cry splinters the air.
The wind murmurs under your wings,
And the thread murmurs under my hands
And I wait here for you.

This is written for Jane Dougherty who has given another glorious prompt. The picture she chose shows 7 geese flying over a winter sea. My first response was to be reminded of a fairy tale – the one where the sister has to weave shirts out of nettles in silence to break the spell on her brothers. Like all fairy tale heroines, she is beautiful and stoical, and quite literally suffers in silence. But sometimes she must have felt a bit frustrated, surely?

11 thoughts on “Snow Geese – for Jane Dougherty

  1. I’d forgotten that story! Thanks for reminding me of it. It must be related to the Children of Lir except Fionnuala leads her brothers, doesn’t sit at home doing penance for them. Gorgeous poem and it IS uplifting. Thank you 🙂


  2. So lyrical. I read it without remembering the tale, but love that layer as well. The birds flying free with snow in their wings and the sister weaving and hiding from the sun–wonderful contrast in addition to the individually fine images. “And the thread murmurs under my hands”–super.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Poetry challenge Snow geese: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

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