Monday, November 7, 2011
I showed the bird in my hand
to the young woman at the other end of the hall.
I wanted to kiss her, but my tongue
could not even shape a word. Songless, I left.
Holding the bird deep in my pocket
I mumbled excuses to the boys at the door
who were off to the school dance. I fled
to my room. I learnt how a shrike crushes.
The bird sat on my shoulder
as I performed my stories, taught my class:
displayed, conducted; practiced my craft
with lightness. A beak tore at my gut.
Hiding the bird in my throat
I knelt in some kind of prayer
till the tumult subsided and I fell
to the floor. Cradled in claws, I slept.
Where was the bird when I wrote?
Caged in my heart; free in my hand.
How is it no-one sees her, though she lives
with me still? You have to sit for a long time
for a sighting.
18 September 2011