Birds in his head

Published by Lori Pickert on October 24, 2008 at 10:19 PM

 

Daedalus
by Alastair Reid
 
My son has birds in his head.
I know them now. I catch
the pitch of their calls, their shrill
cacophonies, their chitterings, their coos.
They hover behind his eyes and come to rest
on a branch, on a book, grow still,
claws curled, wings furled.
His is a bird world.
 
I learn the flutter of his moods,
his moments of swoop and soar.
From the ground I feel him try
the limits of the air —
sudden lift, sudden terror —
and move in time to cradle
his quivering, feathered fear.
At evening, in the tower,
I see him to sleep and see
the hooding-over of eyes,
the slow folding of wings.
I wake to his morning twitterings,
to the croomb of his becoming.
 
He chooses his selves — wren, hawk,
swallow or owl — to explore
the trees and rooftops of his heady wishing.
Tomtit, birdwit.
Am I to call him down, to give him
a grounding, teach him gravity?
Gently, gently.
Time tells us what we weigh, and soon enough
his feet will reach the ground.
Age, like a cage, will enclose him.
So the wise men said.
 
My son has birds in his head.
 
This lovely poem seen on Jora’s blog, Domestic Reflections.

7 comments

Comment by amy on October 25, 2008 at 04:02 PM

I saw this on Jora's blog too. Lovely.

Comment by Estea on October 25, 2008 at 06:19 PM

wonderful.

he chooses his selves...

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 25, 2008 at 07:06 PM

“Am I to call him down, to give him
a grounding, teach him gravity?
Gently, gently.
Time tells us what we weigh, and soon enough
his feet will reach the ground.”

i think this fits with the overall philosophy, don’t you?

Comment by Nancy on October 26, 2008 at 12:44 AM

you, Lori, are messing with my careful interior design. my walls are filling with poems printed out from your blog. this is another *really* good one. --Nancy in NC

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 26, 2008 at 02:01 AM

what is a home without poetry on the walls?! ;^)

Comment by Amy on October 30, 2008 at 12:48 AM

Thank you for sharing that poem. It moved me (in a good way).

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 30, 2008 at 01:57 AM

thanks, amy -- i'm glad it was in a good way! ;^)

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