Boxed In — A Dream

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“Boxed in” — C.Birde, 10/17

 

It is his job.

He is hired to get close to people, to win their trust, put them at ease. But it hurts. Hurts to witness. The casual touch – his hand brushing her shoulder, placed at the small of her back; his smile – a brightening of the eye, a flush of skin – returned.

Turn away. Let them dine on candlelight and wine. Let soft light travel over turned silverware, along the rims of glasses raised and tipped; down her long neck, the sweep of her collar bones. He does not love her. But it hurts.

It hurts.

Turn away. Leave them. Steal off, down the length of hall. Recede into shadow, into self. Reach the door, that worn and featureless divide. Twist the well-burnished knob. Enter. Lean against the closed door, spine to wood. Survey the room, unseeing.

A Spartan space. Bare wood floors. Neatly made bed, spread with white needlepoint cover. Aged, wooden dresser. One square curtainless window, set too high in the wall opposite the door. Unrestricted moonlight paints the floor – four squares of parted light.

Push off the door. Cross to the room’s center. Drop to knees. Insert fingers along the floorboards’ seams, and peel. Peel them up and away, layer after layer. Narrow planks curl backward upon themselves, until they reveal their secret – the space below; the neat cardboard box within.

Grip the floor’s edges. Place one foot down, inside, then the other. Lower knees, hips, ribs, shoulders. Slip into that square hollow. Curl up in the dark, knees to chin, and pull the floorboards closed, back into place.

Later – later – hear the doorknob rattle, the squeak and scrape of hinges. Hear him call. The pain in his voice — the quavering upswing. His heels pace circles against the floorboards above. Back and forth. Round and round. Calling.

Listen.

Sigh.

Sleep.

 

— C.Birde, 10/17

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Elegy — A Poem

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“Elegy” — C.Birde, 10/17

 

Fallen,

folded.

Blue puddle of wings

and tail —

black-barred, white-tipped —

splashed on

the woodland floor.

Beak tucked

to feathered breast.

Perfection,

furled.

Earthbound.

Bear that elegy –

out,

away,

through green and yellow

leaf-filtered light.

Once-full-throated song —

a flutter,

a wound wedged

under wish-

bone.

 

— C.Birde, 10/17

 

Peace Among Raptors — A Dream

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“Peace Among Raptors” — C.Birde, 10/17

 

Duck the trellis,

its weight of scarlet blooms

and gloss-leafed vines.

Part the clouded,

moonlit night.

Glide –

shadow-like –

along gentle swells of lawn.

Soft, unshorn blades lick and trace,

damp underfoot.

Round the curve of hedge,

and pause –

a glint of light tucked deep

within the dense tracery

of branches’ interweave.

A spark…

a flash of gold.

Gasp.

Step back.

The bird erupts,

vaults skyward.

For a moment,

breaks of moonlight limn

its sloped wings,

the smooth curve

of its delicate head.

A second wing stroke,

a third;

it shifts and changes,

exchanges gentle curves

for lean, sharp lines,

for bladed wings and

hooked beak of raptor.

Lean back,

throat exposed;

follow the small, swift hawk’s

vertical progress.

Meet its hooded,

unblinking stare –

that bright star glinting

against the night’s black

backdrop.

Flinch.

 

— C.Birde, 10/17

 

auTUMnBLE — A Poem

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“auTUMnBLE” — C.Birde, 10/17

 

The year turns

a shoulder

cold.

Discarded leaves –

yellow,

scarlet,

bronze –

drift, settle, and

rust.

Flocks tumble

southward in dark arcs.

A stumble in

the evening choir’s

collective

beat and thrum.

Impress

the frequency

and vibration to

muscle,

bone,

unconscious.

One knock, and

Autumn enters.

Stumble.

Tumble.

Fall.

 

— C.Birde, 10/17