Sunday, October 19, 2014

Daedalus' Dream

My son has birds in his head.
I know them now. I catch
the pitch of their calls, their shrill
cacophonies, their chitterlings, 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, feather 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.
- Alastair Reid, "Daedalus"

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