They darken the sky, a cloud of shrieking feathers.
It is said that years ago, when fire flew
through these hills, a woman released from steel and flame,
a frenzied flock that rose, screaming, to air, and stayed there.
Now every twilight sounds as wings turn
To the sunset fading fire behind the oak and eucalyptus groves,
wings that falter in the hazy light, at the incipient darkness,
as unknown and unkind as a cage.