"A Bristle of Wings in the Ivy"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Aug. 12 2008 6:54 AM

"A Bristle of Wings in the Ivy"

Listen to Teresa Cader read this poem.

When the gong sounded, I was alone in the stone tower—
A bristle of wings in the ivy, dry-necked mortar in the walls.

I sat like a monk at prayer. Wind whistled through the cracks
And I heard you call me:

************Come back to your simple

************Table, your garden of burgundy lilies, that chair in the corner
************Where you can see chickadees on the feeder chased off

************By squirrels. We can give you solitude. Soup. We can bring
************The moon to you by cutting a branch from the sycamore.

************We hurt you because we are human. We couldn't
************Hear your voice in a hurricane's silence.

Then I called to you:

************You haven't wronged me. I've needed to live as I have,
************With suppose as the friend I turn to.

************I haven't loved you deeply enough. The mockingbird
************In the ivy could not steal my song otherwise.

The bird left me. The gong was gone. I opened my door to the wild stairs.

Teresa Cader is the author of Guests, The Paper Wasp, and History of Hurricanes (2009). She teaches poetry in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley University.


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