In-grain(ed) — A Dream

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“Book of Wood” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

Burdensome book,

made entirely of wood –

cover, binding, pages;

two inches thick,

maybe three.

A tome-ic weight

upon the lap,

the knees –

biting,

pressing,

depress-

ing.

Pages click

as readers flip

the rigid leaves,

select the word

that suits,

describes where,

in life, they find

themselves –

physically,

spiritually,

emotionally

& slide aside

small wooden tabs

to reveal

the associated page &

turn as indicated.

Click,

slide,

flip;

click,

slide,

flip.

Fall behind taking time

to consider,

to deliberate;

volume of wood

spread wide

across the knees…

Search row and line

for the word

that properly describes

the core of prevailing

sentiment…

To no avail.

Of the many words carved

in those manifold

wooden pages,

neither “grief”,

nor “sorrow”,

nor “melancholy”

are found.

Observe –

the others all

depart,

move on,

while one

remains,

left

behind,

a-

lone.

 

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

Seen/Not Seen — Images

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“Skunk Cabbage” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

Thank you,”

she spoke from half-light,

seen,

not seen,

for all the small,

odd,

curious things —

the skunk cabbage,

the owl pellet,

the brittle lace

of shed snake’s skin,”

a breath,

a pause,

for I am small &

odd &

curious,

too.

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

 

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“Owl Pellet” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

 

Row Round — A Dream

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“Sea” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

Quick.

Get in.

No time to spare.

We’ll row

row row the boat,

rosy, fleet, & lean

through the churning

choppy sea

to save the pink dol-

phins.

Row

row row the boat,

rosy, fleet, & lean,

grip the handles

dip the oars

& save the pink dol-

phins.

Repeat,

in rounds.

Repeat.

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

 

Yellow Stairs — A Dream

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“Yellow Stairs” — C,Birde, 3/20

 

Wait…

He pauses,

hesitates…

Were they always

there?

That set of stairs –

flaking yellow paint

& crumbling;

so unlike the house

from which

they quietly climb

away …

Those stairs

that burn pale

with jaundiced light,

& curve dustily

clockwise,

upward,

out of sight…

Uncertain,

he climbs,

each step releasing

a sifting,

chalky powder,

each step releasing

memory…

Until

On the landing,

peering beyond

the doorway’s open arch,

he views the room —

stark,

bare of ornament but

for one small, deep-set

window;

two twin beds thrust

hard against

the wall…

With grief,

a clutch of heart,

he remembers

all.

No place

for children,

for a child.

With flood & rush,

it returns &

he remembers.

O, he remembers

a l l.

 

 

— C.Birde, 3/20

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Story — A Dream

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“The Second Story” — C.Birde, 3/20

 

Was it you?

Really you I saw

that day,

that night,

while I stood with the wind

in the rail lines’ slope

of scree and

scrubby weeds?

So many miles folded

between us,

yet so clearly

I saw you through

the window’s smooth panes

of glass two stories up

in that time-peeled,

wood-frame farmhouse…

You bent

to lift the kettle,

your back curved

like a scythe,

like the sickle moon,

and I said

(my promise traversed

the separating space

though I never raised

my voice)

I said that I would help

at a word,

a gesture –

drop the kettle;

thump the floorboards

with the broom’s handle,

with your heel…

I would help.

The words left my lips,

and I wondered how,

in this mortal world,

a ghost might manipulate

matter to be heard?

Our lines diverged.

Slow-strobing signal’s

flash.

Cinders’ sigh of

warning…

 

We were

to meet

for tea…

 

— C.Birde, 3/20