Sunday, December 05, 2010

Fifteen ways of Looking at a Lapwing, #11

Across the causeway
Into the castle
Castle Perilous
Fifteen entered
How many left?
None left but one

I could see the sparks rising in a fountain of speckled light
The old man's eyes black through the fire

Across the causeway
Under the ground
Castle Perilous
Eleven entered
How many left?
None left but one

I could see the stars spinning, a sprinkling of snow
Against soft black felt. I remained silent

Across the causeway
Into the air
Castle Perilous
Seven entered
None left but one

But the six flew higher
Slipped along fault lines of sky
Saw the benevolent grinding
Of the millers stone
And only wanted to be chaff
To be blown away
And to fly higher

And the one that was left
Each time she fell
With a broken wing

What was her name?

I took my right hand cupped
Whispered a name into it
Made a holding fist
Threw the word across the fire
Into his chest

He grunted and fell back slightly
The smiled and across the fire
Threw the small sack from around his neck

I opened the bag and
Gently spilled out the bones within
Slender tiny flutes from a small bird

Bone laid out on a stone in front of me I reached out to the fire
As did the old man I only knew from this bunker
Together we made a tear in the way things are
And opened a way to birdscreamingland

We own who we are
We all live forever
We all have a home
In birdscreamingland
Just one more black dot
Reach out and take
A Lapwing

Close the tear
Become mortal
Filled with sorrow

Fifteen breaks in her legs
Eleven needles in her eyes
Seven breaks in her wings

I give a week from my life and use the whole bones to heal hers, remove stitches and needles and throw into the air a small, brown, deceitful bundle of love.
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