You prick your finger on more
than just the needle. Hollow
cones of cartilage—white feathers
in piles at your bare feet. You string
them against each other with black
thread. Not sewing wings for flight,
no wax no Icarus. One cold witch
cauldron-bound lifted fingers
against six meddling brothers
turned birds against night sky
turned swans on lakes with no voice.
Left you on castle doorstep
plucked like early fruit
and given a gold ring. Your six
swan brothers already reached the sun
and that yellow stained their skin.
No one’s getting them back but you
and every shredded feather found
at the lake.