The Woman and the Branch


I knew. I knew. My mother gave me
her bluebird of happiness. Carrying the glass
inside my skin to school, I was young.
Show us what you have, the world said.
I was polishing somebody’s rapture.
It wasn’t mine. Not my paradise
or my mother’s love, but oh god
how it shone. I could never tell
which bird was singing. I went home
like a canticle to its branch.
I flew through gray leaves away from
childhood. I gave my mother answers I knew,
didn’t ask whether there was another color –
was blue right after all? Was happiness
a song to be shattered?
I couldn’t explain the frailty, how
the figurine had cracked
when I looked through its life.

Image Credits: Nick Kramer