Stilled

In the lucky season
He snared a songbird —
Tied it with a golden thread
To a silver perch by the window.

Her tune pulled clouds
Down into a foggy sunrise,
And as the golden leaves dropped
Her instinct rose —
Told her to hunker down
If she could not chase the sun.

She listened to receding voices of her clan —
Grew still as first the low geese,
Then higher,
The cranes,
Took to an updraft
And warned of its coming.

He locked the window,
Drew curtains tight.
Black magician
Stole her song
And turned his back
As she withered and grayed.

The silent watcher
Witnessed the changing light
Through a crack.
The weavers in the window
Built monuments to hunger,
Curators of unheeding flight
And a thousand resurrections
Amongst their tear-beaded webs.

He ventured forth
Into the blue rooms,
Blood on his lips.
He shone with the power
Of seven suns.
A clamoring need,
The dusty crowd —
Ask and you shall receive.

Simultaneously,
In retreating minutes
Of darkness,
He showed her more darkness.
Each confession
Another steely scale
To build up her armor.

Rusty voiced,
She called to the night-cousins:
How long?
How long?
Inward gaze and private notes
Struggling songward.

The slow torture of the turning wheel,
She felt it in her bones.
Fallen feathers,
Heavy wing,
Dew eye —
An ominous memorial,
A shadowed accompaniment,
Her ghosts’ fading footsteps.

Somewhere a resounding echo rolls
Beneath the short hand.
Minute celebrations —
The shining and mundane –
Scent of leaf mould
Blown through a widening fissure —
The burning house —
A warbler in the dead wood.

Who will pull back the scales now?
Who will hear her whispered story?
Who will right the wheel —
Open the window —
Untie the knotted string —
Listen —
And then call her back again?

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About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

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