Burden — A Poem

“Peaches” — C.Birde, 9/20

Firm as fact.

Sweet as certainty.

My knife parts velvet skin,

slices through yielding flesh

to bite the channeled stone within.

Each taste, ripe and real.

Triumph over falsehood.

Antitoxin to hate.

Each taste, a tonic to these days

of discord.

Burden me –

O please, I beg you

burden me with the blessing

of Summer’s remaining peaches,

and I may indeed survive…

“Sliced” — C.Birde, 9/20

Threnody — A Poem

“Mourning Dove” — painting by Marie Nonnast Bohlen

My grief

is a mourning dove,

all hollow bones &

feathers.

Winged.

Near-weightless.

Poor tender, disconsolate

creature.

She curls talons against

her perch –

my heart –

pierces that soft muscled

chamber &

coos a mournful

song.

— C.Birde, 8/20

Ask… — A Poem

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“Nightstand” — C.Birde, 4/20

 

Ask

something concrete…

What books I’ve accumulated,

over the past five weeks –

eight, thus far:

three new; five used;

two classics;

one not yet received.

(Ask

for an illustrative

Venn Diagram.)

Ask

if the stack on the nightstand

leans –

those Dead Girls & Cousins

& Innkeepers & Unicorns;

the modern-day Persephone;

the House of Tremontaine

& Castle Gormenghast

all listing crookedly,

patiently,

waiting for Wintering.

Ask

how much I read –

two paragraphs each night,

maybe three

(the stack could last indefinitely);

a comfort of words,

in self-prescribed doses.

Ask

the tangible, the specific;

I’ll answer eagerly,

each query a forbidden fruit –

tart, acidic, honey-sweet.

But please –

oh, please –

avoid the vague,

the nebulous,

the hazy;

do not disrupt

this tenuous balance;

do not ask me

how I

am.

 

— C.Birde, 4/20

 

Specific Grief — A Poem

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“Surge” — C.Birde, 4/20

 

For You…

 

Each time we meet,

that specific grief

and I,

in some unexpected

curl of psyche,

it is always,

ever,

and again,

as if for the first time.

Like the rasp of thorn

or briar on skin

presumed whole,

unmarred,

unbroken —

fresh surge of pain;

scarlet bright.

When we meet,

my grief and I,

old friends reunited,

we embrace –

awkwardly,

so carefully –

and, as one,

we weep.

 

 

— C.Birde, 4/20

Sudden Exit — A Poem

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“Snowdrops” — C.Birde, 2/20

 

For Lydia

 

When the day

has slipped,

and all its

burdens –

         large,

         small,

         soul-expanding

are set

aside;

when sleep

arrives –

         calm or fitful,

         dreamless or

         dream-full;

when the new day

dawns and

the world

(having fulfilled

its obligations)

continues

its slow,

unbroken

revolution;

I will carry

your absence

forward,

always,

in my grief-

softened

heart.

 

— C.Birde, 2/20