Pin Feather

by Rachel Morgan

Unlike hair, the pin feather

is alive. Not an assembly line

of dead cell on dead cell, cut

or curled for beauty, but blood

alive: oxygen for carbon dioxide.

If cut open, painful alive.

Wet, deep, womb alive,

Grendel’s mother alive, before

the loss of blood or her son,

when loss is not mistaken for living,

even though it starts and ends

in the same dark place.