This lovely, lovely poem is from Nancy Willard,’s “Swimming Lessons. New and Selected Poems,”
The Fruit Bat
Because the air has darkened
like bruised fruit, you creep
down the bare branch
where you slept all light long,
gathered into yourself like a fig.
Little mandarin woman fleeing
under the stars on bound feet,
when your wings spring open
even you look surprised.
What are the raven’s slick feathers
beside these pewter sails
raised in the foundry of your flesh,
burnished by light poured
from a wasted moon and a dipper
brimming with darkness?