The park was full of white feathers today,
one drifted deliberately to me, between holly and yew.
I thought it was my father's presence, until my daughter's shoe
raised and crushed it, lightning quick, to make it stay,
earthed in the December dirt. Not the ancestral stray
communication of a sly old table-tippling ghost, accruing
the tenacity of physical form to transcend, break through
and issue an echoed breath of the old family ways.
I remembered then that my father was no angel, more of a wise crow.
He never sprouted feathers from his shoulder, or a halo round his head;
he was more sleek and clever, shepherding his congregation to parliament.
Later that evening, I took the white feather from my pocket, let it go,
because I knew my father wasn't in it, he was, of course, long dead.
A black tail feather ghosted to my feet, and I heard him say, you never know.
Alison Jones’ work has been widely published in journals such as Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry, The Interpreter’s House, The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. Her pamphlet, Heartwood, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018 and her second pamphlet, Omega, came out in June 2020. She has a full collection forthcoming with Hedgehog Press.