Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Found gifts

I was walking to storytelling the other day when I found a piece of paper folded up on the ground. I am a curious person (both meanings apply, but in this case I mean I am infused with curiosity). I picked it up and found a poem by a poet I had never read before. Oh, what a gift!

The Man Who Swallowed a Bird

Happened when he was yawning.
A black or scarlet bird went down his throat
And disappeared, and at the time
He only looked foolish, belched a feather;
The change took time.

But when we saw him again in the
Half-dusk of a summer evening
He was a different man. His eyes
Glittered and his brown hands
Lived in the air like swallows;
Knowledge of season lit his face
But he seemed restless. What he said
Almost made sense, but from a distance:

          Once I swallowed a bird.
          Felt like a cage at first, but now
           Sometimes my flesh flutters and I think
          I could go mad for joy.

In the fall he vanished. South
Some said, others said dead. Jokes
About metamorphosis were made. Nonetheless
Some of us hear odd songs.
You press your ear against the morning air,
Above and on your left you might
Hear music that implies without a word
A world where a man can absorb a bird.
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1 comment:

  1. this is my favorite poem of all time. and each time i read touches all over again...


True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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