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.