My mind is a cupboard stuffed full
of misplaced vintage bird figurines.
I have collected them over eleven years.
Some days they are loud with sounds of you.
They screech grief till the shelves shake
the doors threaten to burst.
I am certain observers can hear this sorrow
will offer condolences and tokens of solace.
Will not simply straighten their shoulders
as I try to untwist my face.
Today I am certain if I opened my mouth
feathers would spill out.
I picture them pouring past my lips
all ultramarine and maroon.
When I imagined you free
from sterile sheets and white rooms
it’s true I saw you with wings.
I saw you in the sky.
Other days the birds are quiet.
So still and silent they gather dust.
These are the worst days. See, I am afraid
I will forget you one day soon
so I am attached to the symphony
of mourning sung by birds I hold hostage.
I long for their doleful cries.
With dry and vacant eyes
I search for your fragments.
I browse antique shops and borrow memories
from forgotten items.
I am drawn only to birds,
made of porcelain and brass.
I brush debris from their beaks.
I whisper, “fly free, but return to me.
While you are gone, sing cheerfully,
for when you return your wings will mold motionless.”
They will cry rueful till the day they too forget you.
Miriam Kramer studied Creative Writing at Pacific University, and works at a local bookstore. Her work has been published in The Rising Phoenix Review, and Indigent Press. She lives in Bound Brook, NJ, with her faucet obsessed cat, Ernie. Miriam is overly sentimental, often rescuing items from other peoples’ garbage.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.