14 January, 2010

The Bird

The bird you captured is dead.
I told you it would die
but you did not learn
from my telling. You wanted
to cage a bird in your hands
and learn to fly.

Listen again.
You must not handle birds.
They cannot fly through your fingers.
You are not a nest
and a feather is
not made of blood and bone.

Only words
can fly for you like birds
on the wall of the sun.
A bird is a poem
that talks of the end of cages.

~ ~ Patrick Lane

First published in Beware the Months of Fire (Toronto: Anansi, 1974).