Poetry Monday–from the files

parakeetI found this poem, cut out from the New Yorker, no idea when…


First, you took the parakeet out of its cage,
Its body warm and folded, a blue-green kite
With a surprised heart. Then you scoured the metal,
The door a loose pocket of bars on two wire hinges,
The clawed perches, the swing and its endless dialogue
With the invisible. Slowly, you removed the racks
From the dishwasher and placed the cage in it.
We laughed at your ingenuity, at the way
It expressed your secret ambition to be
The one least mauled by the predictable.
And I think I knew then that I would carry on this hope
Of yours. There is such harm in love.
But let it be the green-and-blue acrobat it is,
A tropical danger in the midst of my body,
The body that you built for me.
Let it be the cage you cared for from which
Birdsong was pulled into the cool and odorless air.

Vickie Karp