Crippled Bird


In response to/inspired by Elfstone’s Smile. An older poem in which I ‘discovered’, or brought to consciousness, something important about my adult relationship with my mother…

it’s not my fault
dad’s long instruction at his
father’s fist    mum’s bad legs and clubby feet
nor that she came home   four years old
to find she’d been left  
her mother and siblings gone   gone
their weighty needs
are pinning
me down
i’ve turned into this feral cat
they’re   trying   to   skin   alive
i’ve had enough   got my suitcase packed
but she’s hobbling fast
catches me at the door   cries
you’re not going anywhere   a quaver
in her voice    her arms flung tight around
my waist to stop me   and   oh   god   oh   god
she’s like a crippled bird    heart pumping wildly
against my powerful hand
and she’s just trembling  trembling




© belcanto 2017
critique and comments welcome.

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17 Comments on "Crippled Bird"

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Hey there, trouble. I have to admit that upon first glance, I wasn’t very keen on the layout, but I think part of that may be that I lack the creativity you have in spades. It is a very powerful piece and reminds me that all of us are products of our environment to greater or lesser degrees. Perhaps that is necessary for poets. I believe there is something to us needing to experience loss and pain. Anyway, I can’t offer any real ‘crit’. I think you’ve looked at this one a few times and landed here, where it is… Read more »
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