Bird in Tree: A Poem

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bird in Tree

Harder to explain the forthright perch
Of the moon in a sunned sky
To you, who asked no question to begin with;
Harder to catalog the ways that glisten
Is justified, given the war that’s on,
The sadness we have seen.

It is true:  I cry over the stars I cannot see,
Over the wound of the peony against my heart
Over the dahlia that I leave to its own intrepid devices.
Over how you married me, after all,
Regardless of my dancing with my shadow,
And despite how the hat that I chose for the occasion
Forecast nothing of my desire.

What will happen if I die before I’ve had
My all of beauty, or if I die young:  What then?  
Might I entrust you with my urgency,
Entirely impractical as it is, and boring,
I’m sure it seems, given the facts of the matter:
The hour passes over and then by, and the moon
Is a beast in the sky, and seasons have their elucidations,
And the dahlia must be tamed.  Until then I will take

My living seriously.  I will take my gardens and my bees,
My vestigial traces, my birds that return to the nests in their trees
As signs.  And I shall take you as my husband
For your hands are sweet and your cheeks are so perfectly reclined,
And because little by little and more by more
My loving does not hurt you.

Many years ago, when writing poems was the only cure for my insomnia, I wrote "Bird in Tree."

When I read it again today I realized how abundantly true this poem remains. And it is a beautiful day out there. And so I share it.


Melissa Sarno said...

This is so beautiful.

Serena said...

I really thought this was a love poem for your husband...perhaps even a wedding vow. I loved it.

Julia said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. I especially love "The hour passes over and then by, and the moon Is a beast in the sky, and seasons have their elucidations..." What an expressive and evocative piece.

( I read The Heart Is Not a Size recently, and was prompted to return to your online haunt. How much I've missed!)

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