Peregrination – a poem by Jill Pearlman


Is peregrine not a bird
the word peregrination suggesting

wings, open spread of marvels,
feathered creeds

more colors beyond

our valises, black silver-gray
scuffed by rough handling, greasy, paunchy

filled and fed, packed, stacked,
returned, standing for the next

approximation – but that’s the problem.

Peregrination, I read, is flat-footed

what I, my children, my lovers
do with compulsion, then return unnerved

is two steps backward, stand
in one place aching with failure.

My peregrine is astute, attuned,
known by stillness more than motion.

My phantom bird; how lightly
meaning attaches to words.


Jill Pearlman is a writer and poet based in Providence, RI.  She has published in Salamander, Frequency Anthology, Soul-Lit, Crosswinds and others.  She writes a blog about ecstasy, art and aesthetics in wartime at


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