Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lift Me Like a Leaf (After Shelley)

Suza Lambert Bowser
Decatur Prison - March 2013
While standing in line, I spot a red cardinal
now dead and nesting in a litter 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 dessicated leaves. So,
like the audio overdubs I've recorded, 
I cover this video with remembered sounds from outside.

"Look!" One prisoner exclaims, "A hummingbird!"
The other women sigh a cute and tragic "Awwwww."

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-thing tubular beak.
It's a hummingbird all right and by God.

Silent swirls of dead leaves grace this humbug delicacy.
Like the cardinal, I'm the redfaced oaf fallen beside a fairy

No comments:

Post a Comment