Audio inserted 5/6/14
Audio updated 5/15/14 due to low volume

This is very different from what I’ve been writing lately
but I do hope you all enjoy it

Unknown artist
Unknown artist


Ever since I was little there was
about broken things that made me
want to fix them
about knots that made me want
to undo them

It’s the way I helplessly watched
my shattered mother carry a
dying lover,
the inability
to protect her from those maladies,
the feeling of knots inside my throat
too thick to let through requests for

One look,
and I knew you were fucked up
six ways from Sunday

I followed the narrative
of your skin,
there was a caged bird on your left
forearm, your sternum armored
by black ink under dermis,
protected by
the occasional swipe of a left hand

If I touched your tattooed knuckles
would you curl them at me?
Would you unfurl your fingers, grab
the dagger inked on your body,
peel skin back to let sparrows free?

I wanted to be the cigarette in your
mouth, and fill your body with
something other than smoke

To grab your shaking fists
point them downfield
from our door stoop
through the fog of war,
and command you to fight,

I could tell you choke when
you cry, I should have told you those
are smouldering doves in your stomach
trying to fly

Sobs are pianos hauled
up a spiral staircase that is your throat,
waiting to be lodged
into vocal chords, to be
pounded, torn out,
set afire, dragged down
the avenue by their strings

I should have put a blanket over
your shoulders,
pulled your head into the nook of
my forearms,
bent them tight,
like I had just sent you home
tucked into the space under your
father’s chin,
to the roundness of your mother’s
stomach before you tore
screaming into this world,

I should have told you sometimes,
the difference between light and
is only a light switch away

29 Comments on “Sparrow

  1. Such a touching piece – your thoughts and feelings – all tied up in evocative metaphors – and the end – complete with a loving bow. This is a gift of beautiful writing.

      1. I can understand this – I think most written work is never read by the one who inspires it – what is important is it inspired you and as a result inspires the reader to experience a part of you.

  2. Wow! This is one is dark chocolate!! 🙂 But really, Kimberly said it best “evocative metaphors” – they are exquisite. Your phrasing and form are uniquely yours. It adds your essence to each poem. Beautiful…painful….

  3. I can feel the pain in every word. I understand the darkness…and I also understand the light. Sometimes we are so entrenched we don’t know how to “flip the switch.” Blessitude

    1. Very kind Lorrie, it’s a blessing to know I can touch people on the other side of the world.

      May you be granted one more day on earth, so you may practice your craft.

    1. Consider how your relationship with her, and your environment growing up, and think of how it has shaped your relationships with women, it’ll blow your mind.

  4. Wow, that is so heartfelt. I often wonder what state of mind people are in when they write poetry. I tend to write very, very sad things even though I am feeling happy. My name’s Dominique and I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. I got nominated recently, went through the whole exercise myself and now, after reading many blog posts under the tag ‘writing’, I have nominated you. Check out what I said about the award on my blog and do a bit of Google research to find out more.

    1. Thank you so much Joanna for taking the time to read this. FYI, it was based on real circumstances, somewhere, right now, there’s a bartender in Toronto with a tattoo of a birdcage on her inner arm; and pianos inside her throat 🙂

  5. I tried listening to the audio file, but the volume was really low. I had a hard time hearing you. I’m not sure if it was just my computer or not. Your other files were fine!

  6. “i knew you were fucked up six ways from Sunday”… i laughed at that one (I guess it probably isn’t really a funny thing…). can definitely relate.

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