Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lift Me Like a Leaf by Suza

                                                                                                            Suza Lambert Bowser
                                                                                                Decauter Prison- March 2013
“Lift me Like a Leaf” (After Shelley)
While standing in line, I spot a red cardinal
Now dead and nesting in a little of leaves
My neck cranes brokenly, struggling to see beyond the prison glass.

Here inside, I can’t hear the paper scrape,
The whisk and hush of desiccated leaves.
So, like the audio overdubs I’ve recorded in my life
I cover this video with remembered sounds from outside.

“Look!” one prisoner exclaims, “a hummingbird!”
The other women sigh a cute and tragic “Awwww.”
These girls don’t know shit about birds, I gloat
Noting the red feathers melting soggy against the skeleton.
But, then I see it:
            A tiny shadow on the concrete ledge,
            A smudge, a fluttered shape
            The needle-thin tubular beak.

It’s a hummingbird all right and by God.
Silent swirls of dead leaves grace this humbling delicacy
Like the cardinal, I’m the red-faced oaf fallen beside a fairy.

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