The Archibald Rutledge Prize
Dennis Ward Stiles
1. The feather is more than a hair.
The feather is more than a fishscale.
2. God created the water
and filled it with food.
Fish rise. I eat them.
3. God created air, rocks
I fly through his breath
4. There is no beak like my beak.
Come over here, gulls
sandpipers, herons, crabs.
5. Try, you others, to splash
the way I splash.
You are skimmers and dippers.
6. Blessed is the leader in flight.
Blessed are the first and last to follow.
Blessed alone, blessed together.
7. Break open my eggs, enemies.
I have hidden others.
Even my eggs
have the wisdom of grandfathers.