A Feather


The first rager of winter bellows in from the Pacific, swirling wind circling southeast in the valley bowl, bends the birch and tears the last frond feathers from the locust. There will be more and they will keep coming.

An inch of rain pounds against the stove cap, wind whistles through the chimney cap, eaves overflow with leaves and water spills broadside. Black moon in a black sign at the end of the Via Combusta, wait for the lights to meet and seed a new turn. Then we will know.

Venus trails and lingers, fingering the Feather and Scales as Maat; she still walks the burning road. The Messenger knows the secrets, where the bodies and the booty lie buried in the bog. The Warrior turns for the third and final battle.

Dress in mist, all the colors of air, to slip between: chalk, slate, smoke blue, steel. Waft through empty spaces like vapor, never noticed by human eyes, observed only by the heron at the river bank who sees and, wishing herself invisible, remains unseen. There is deep pooling water along the trails we tread–sky traps ensnaring clouds and gobbling them whole.

The coipú, the swamp rat, startles as the dog emerges from the mist, slips off the bank and dives underwater. I watch for the creature to surface for air downstream. It is last quarter now, in this cursed Year of the Rat.

Just the weight of a feather~

Author: Kim K. McCrea

Kim K. McCrea earned her BA in English before embarking on a career in technology and public service. Kim won Oregon Writers Colony 2018 essay award, Treefort’s 2017 Wild West Writing Prize, and was named runner-up in Cutbank 2018 Big Sky/Small Prose contest. Her creative nonfiction is featured in Cutbank, Tishman Review, Cagibi, and elsewhere; she is the author of the novel Pandora's Last Gift. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Kim lives in Oregon, where she studies the moon and stars and wanders with her Labrador in the rain.

4 thoughts on “A Feather”

  1. November, the middle of autumn, is like this. We are just home from a walk in a dry gale wind. It was easy walking out, had work coming back into the blow. The cloud-occluded sky was Oregon chalcedony blue. A fragmented break over the ocean glimmered platinum that swept a reflection across wet sand. I did not have my camera with me, so perhaps you will take my word.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Jan! Greetings from the PNW too, Seattle-way. That’s a real pretty scene you sketched there…I was going to thank Kim for posting as I get an actual craving for her posts ( I don’t think I can say that about anyone else really, not to this extent)…and comment on her photo… and there your comment is sweet as her photo! So cheers to you and here’s to Oregon chalcedony blue. To November, too. I won’t toast to rats tho’.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Venus trails and lingers…The Messenger knows the secret…The Warrior turns…Dress in mist…observed only by the heron…who sees…remains unseen.”

    Howl properly right and rightly erudite. Cheers. Glad you make and share.


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