October 17: Poem

October 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

I am in need of some beautiful things. Some rejuvenation, meditation, and ritual. Until then, poetry will do.

Today, J. woke up at the crack of dawn, because he thought it was his special day at school (on their snack and show & tell day kids get to have special privileges too, like being first in line, starting the head count, and other things that matter to five year-olds), but it turned out it was next Wednesday instead, and the devastated look on his face when he found out just broke my heart. So this one is for him.

The first time he left the house walking,
     having rehearsed long
     hurried with a briefcase
     three feet tall
     in rush hour traffic
     of a living room floor
they gave him a beak to wear
     corrugated cardboard
     cut by hand
     with rubber band
     across the back
     keeping hair in order
     and mouth shut
and said
Careful little child
there are all kinds of dangers there
you have no idea
step back in time to a wind-up bird
     large key on the navel makes it play
     holds its bowels together
      another holds a tin drum
     accordions and cabarets
     somnambulists, ventrioloquists
they said
all kinds of dangers out there
Ta-Dam Ta-Dam
you have no idea
Outside the boy pecked and pecked
shared jokes with birds
not once stuck his beak into a deep vessel out of which he couldn’t drink
held no one’s hand
no danger befell him
while someone else dipped his beak into water and it rusted
scraping the bottom displacing the rocks
denting the key
obeying the drumming
Ta-Dam Ta-Dam

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