Fledgling Flight by Eira Needham

Teetering on our nest edge,
cautious wings beat until
a sudden gust lifts him, to sail
across the valley, almost
tumbling onto a hillock.

In practice flight he sways and turns,
attains great heights, yet
beneath my eaglet’s dare-devil plumes,
a nestling lingers, in awe
of the rocky ground below.

We clash in turbulent bouts,
air speed arrested amidst the squall.
Then perched at a distance,
we brood
feathers ruffled by the gale.

His ease in solo flying bruises
my maternal bones.
Soon, he’ll surge further-alone,
to search for a craggy ledge,
gather twigs for his own eyrie.

My lithe eagle glides
circling beneath stratus.
Breast puffed, I gaze
at this masterful display,
until he merges
with the hazy skyline.

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