Barbara Helfgott Hyett – Gray Bat
Born in synchrony, the infants gasp,
Emerge blind from bodies hanging
By thumbs. They suckle in absolute
Darkness, cradled in tails, mothers
Licking their leathery wings.
They are modest as lichens,
Meticulous, always combing, pink
Tongues oiling their claws. Sinewy-
Shouldered, slender-hipped, they sleep
Through winter, vulnerable in their coma,
The caves they inhabit not hidden enough.
When they wake they warm themselves—
Even in fur they must shiver before they can fly.
At night they hunt by galactic sound—
Calls pulsed from the nose, vibrating
Every airy recess, releasing
The solid shape of things.
Date: September 23, 2011