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