Rescue — A Dream

A stylized photo of a white tablecloth's drape.
“Under the Tablecloth” — C.Birde, 7/21

Leave them.

Leave them here,

near the white marble

countertop –

     paring knife

     sweet potato

     woman.

Attend, instead,

to the anger,

the flint & spark

of charged words.

Attend

the grief & fear,

the ceaseless fall

of tears.

Follow this unhappy tide –

     jaw set

     ears attuned

     heart clenched

Follow

toward the table

spread with white cloth,

chairs pushed in

to contain that

which lies beneath,

within…

Avoid

the hand that shoots out

from this self-made cage

to grasp at calf,

at ankle…

Grasp

that hand & s-q-u-e-e-z-e

until those fine,

timeworn bones protest,

the hand itself struggles

to retract…

Demand –

     c-r-u-n-c-h,

     c-r-a-c-k

demand

that he release the child

he traps beneath.

In exchange,

release your grip.

Exit,

tousle-haired child

weeping against

your neck’s curve,

balanced on

your hip.

— C.Birde, 7/21

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