“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


if i open a door, a bird will fly in

i could show you pictures of the feathers she leaves me
but i am afraid they will lose their magic.
i can't catch the birds who listen to her whispers,
but they zoom in front of my car,
flying ahead of me, showing the way.
they swoop across my path to say good morning,
checking in, smiling.
you will just have to believe me.
they are there.

you will think me mad or silly or in need of reassurance,
and indeed all those things are true,
but explain the feather
left by my car door when i gave her clothes away.
not there when i stepped out
but waiting for a tearful me when i returned.

explain the feathers always at my front door,
the one at the restaurant,
the black one at the lake.
explain them all.
where once i found feathers here & there,
they now find me.

explain the feather from her house,
 waiting for me at my car door as i left one night.

when skye the cat came to live with me
she found it her first night,
stroked it with her cheek.

they are comforts,
these signs from those gone ahead, gone before,
gone away, but not forgotten.

we look for them.

my mother looked when my father died,
when her brother died,
when her mother died.
she looked in dreams
and in everyday events
and sometimes they were there but mostly not.
 she was always disappointed,
brokenhearted, saddened.
she couldn't understand, she'd say.
why not? 
i always thought the looking hid them;
she looked so hard and in all the wrong places.
i always thought they were really there.

when she was in the hospital i bought a painting from miz katie.
a bird on a hand.
i had just enough extra money for it,
just enough.
a sign in itself.
it spoke to me in the language of paintings;
the bird felt right and i felt comforted.

after my mother's death, the birds came.
and being birds, they flew.
they were always flying the air
down the middle of the road i was driving.
always leading me.

then the feathers began.
a comfort.

yes, i am mad, i am silly,
i am in need of reassurance.
but this i know to be true.
if she could, she would.



  1. oh my. you are not mad, or silly, and as for in need of reassurance, well maybe, but surely there is nothing wrong with that. there were hearts, and now there are feathers. finding you.

  2. i just brim with tears as i soak up the words and feelings here .. love you friend and are'nt we all in need of reassurance when we lose such important people in our lives?

  3. I love this Debi. I remember signs after my mama died that I was just sure were from her. I'm not sure how it fits into theological belief systems at all, but I saw the signs, regardless. :) It is a comfort.

  4. the Lord moves in mysterious ways . . xoxo

  5. Have I mentioned lately how your poetry takes my breath away. It is such a gift, and I am so grateful that you continue to be willing to share it.

  6. This post gave me goose bumps because it brings back so many memories. You're not made or silly, the signs are always there and there's comfort to be found in them. For my mothers it's each time she sees an owl. After my father passed away, I saw a white dove and I too feel the connection with birds, my dad loved birds. Hugs. x

  7. And she can. And she does.
    This is just what I needed today. So much.
    Thank you.

  8. you know and i know and we all know the feathers need no explanations.

    because love is everywhere and hearts never cease their connections.

    love you! xo

  9. Yes, these are beautiful signs. Your words touch me.

  10. Dear heart. I am sorry, so very, very sorry about your mother. No matter how much of an "adult" we are, we are never old enough to lose our mothers. Words are never enough, but I hope you know my meaning, my deep true heart-love for you when I say, "I am so very sorry." I love you, dear friend.

  11. when we see a single butterfly near us, we always say "it's grandma".....we like that reassurance, too.

  12. there is more to this story. there is the story of the painting itself. miz katie says i can share her tale of the painting:

    "i hope you don't think i'm nuts for what i'm about to write, but i trust you will understand what i'm talking about.

    soft landing makes me think of my mom, also. that's why i couldn't sell the first one i did like this. my mom had a connection with birds, too. there were several crows visiting me just before she died, cawing at me 3 times as they flew by.

    my grandmother always said that 3 of anything - like a bird caw or 3 sharp knocks on the door - are signs someone is going to die . . . a warning, so you can prepare yourself. i have had it happen several times . . . in the form of 3 knocks on the door and nobody was there. it happened at my old house on the back door. nobody ever used that door . . . it looked out to acres of field, and you had to walk around the house to get to it. but, i heard it, very sharply. 3 knocks, and i went to answer it. nobody was there. no car out front. nothing. the next day i got news that a family friend had killed himself.

    so, when i started to get the 3 caws from the crows every day, several times a day, i started bracing myself. it went on for a couple weeks before mom passed, and hasn't happened since.

    and then at mom's house, the trees were full of cawing crows in the morning after she died. it was so loud, it woke me up for three mornings in a row . . . until she was buried. and then they went away. it was so still and quiet in the morning after that. so very strange.

    so, i do understand why the painting brings you comfort. it does the same for me. ♥ i'm so happy it is in your home . . .

    i get chills when i read that, thank you miz katie, for the painting AND the story.


  13. ..they always come to us, our dead, if we only have the courage to believe they can and watch. the innocent images we see that others would miss, the sudden feeling of them. they are there to tell us they are ok.
    in fondest of thoughts, always.

  14. only this: ♥
    (and always thank you)


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