Friday, June 30, 2006

Birds (2006)

When she
stopped speaking for a year

only birds
unlocked her throat.

I remember kissing her hair,
whispering, “Sister,

the words you lack
are only birds.”

And at last,
breathing a cloud

of dust into the morning,
she broke her silence:

“Only birds who nested
in the trees of Eden.

When Adam was a poet
he couldn’t sleep –

all of sleep and night were driven
coiling through the rocks!

Dwelling in the young clay
of his body, mind silent,

he had begun
living out the bargain,

tending garden
with eye & tongue

(repeating the birds'
melodic names).”

Then her speaking
died again.

Tears came
like ancient trees falling,

and her birds were climbing,
naming the sky.

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