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APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: 'Bird, Singing: Lucie Brock-Broido's Evocation of Animals Helping Humans
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Then, every letter opened was an oyster
Of possible bad news, pried apart to reveal
The imperfect probable pearl of your death.
Then, urgent messages still affrighted me, sharp
Noises caused the birds not yet in flight to fly.
Then, this was the life of you.
All your molecules
Gathered for your dying off
Like mollusks clinging to a great ship's hull.
Ceremony of wounds, tinned,
Tiny swaddled starlings soaked in brine.
A bird, singing in his wicker cage, winds down.
Now, a trestle table lined with wooden platters
Neat with feathered wings of quail tucked-in.
Until you sever the thing, from self, it feels.
Thereafter it belongs to none.
You have nothing to be afraid of, anymore.
Outside Prague, I find you warm
Among the million small gold bees set loose
In April's onion show, quietly
Quietly, would you sing this back to me, out loud
More on this poem and author:
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Excerpt from STAY, ILLUSION. Copyright (c) 2013 by Lucie Brock-Broido. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.