by July 21, 2023 1 comment

I do not know who I am, but I do know
I am not the red winged blackbird scaling the tall grass near the road
or the snail slug attached to the undergrowth of a brick.
Nor am I the rat dependent on a prisoner for care.
Hard and fast I find myself, a garden gate swinging open unexpectedly,
no wind through the leaves, no breeze across the dandelions, not even breath.
Can I be the lover’s kiss? The soft caress? One finger focused on another’s palm?
The brand new lens allowing the brilliance of brand new sight?
Perhaps I am only the apology, the insecure sorry bent and breaking,
the I-have-already-apologized-for-that — can’t you let it go? —
the red winged blackbird hoping to lift its body above the reeds,
the snail slug married to its one brick terrain,
the rat entering the concrete floor hungry, hopeful, anticipating home.

editors note:

Perhaps, each of these in turn. It’s a long journey, after all. – mh clay

Comments 1

  1. Marie Higgins

    What I love about this poem is the structure, especially coming around again to the animals, from the point of “not like them,” to the similarities and closure. I am intrigued by the garden gate “swinging open unexpectedly” without wind. It is, as if, figuring out life gives things and people momentum, like “I do not know who I am, but I do know.”

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