Angel with One Scorched Wing

He could have blamed the damage—

one piebald wing—sooty burnt black

and singed gray feathers marring


glossy white—on soaring like Icarus

too close to sun’s fierce lens. The truth

was more mundane. He did not fall


but merely drifted half-heartedly

into rebellion, sidled close to the sins

of pride and anger, but repented


and retreated before eternally trapped

in a fiery hell. Unhealed and placed

on probation, he found his glory as guide


and guardian to those missing the mark,

patron to sinners, the lost, those astray

and confused. He whispered questions


that infiltrated dreams and altered lives:

did that choice serve the deep desire of the soul?

what is hidden that needs to be brought forth?


what change, what amends, would restore,

re-story, sow harmony, peace, and joy?

He was favored of the Paraclete, honored


among angels, called Liberator by his peers.

Offered pardon with purified, unsullied wing,

he clung to his charred state, rising, one wing


still blackened, the other radiant as newfound love.

Remembrance and redemption, his witness that only

one who stumbles and falls short, can rise in splendor.

East River, After a Long Absence
The Future of the Sun