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That Thing with Feathers: Hope and Literature in a Time of Upheaval

The holiday season is filled with traditions, our homes filled with family and friends. This season looks different. Danielle Beazer Dubrasky, co-editor of Blossom as the Cliffrose (June 2021) had an unexpected collision with some of the difficult adjustments that so many of us are grappling with this year, and in today’s That Thing With Feathers: Hope & Literature in a Time of Upheaval, she shares story and perspective through prose and poem.


Flight Path

by Danielle Dubrasky

On the morning before Christmas Day 2019, I dashed out the front door to pick up last-minute things for our annual Christmas Eve buffet where my usual Sylvia Plath becomes a wannabe Martha Stewart—albeit a frazzled one with dishes piled high in the sink, counters covered with unrinsed cans of pumpkin residue, empty cartons of whipping cream, and pie crust bits, as I direct guests toward the dining room table set with shrimp cocktail, cold cuts, and various cheeses strategically placed around pine boughs. “Ignore the mess behind the curtain!” I would call out gaily, conjuring up an aging and less charming Bridget Jones.

On that morning, I plugged in the Christmas tree decorated red and gold to bring on the light of the season, then trotted down our steps in my small black boots to the cement walkway glistening with last night’s rain—a rare treat for the high desert of southern Utah. Only the walkway wasn’t wet but covered in sheer ice. My brisk pace slid to a stop as my left leg shot out in front of me and my right leg slipped behind, slamming my ankle against the frozen cement.