The metaphor of the bird

Image result for Lorena Pugh Surreal Oil Painting of Sheet on Clothesline in the Country
Lorena Pugh Surreal Oil Painting of Sheet on Clothesline in the Country

How many times have I
criticized the metaphor of the bird,
when my mother would say
how free
is she
and I’ll put my hand
upon my cold forehead,
It doesn’t ring right,
I tell her,
it is a projection into
wishful thinking.

It is unruly for you, I tell her,
to fly without airports,
immigration officers,
the office cicadas,
the old regular bloated system
to color within the lines,
the patterned sweat it brings upon your back,
the despair of
the black and white, dust-colored earth
that holds your feet.

I think of the rain–
often I wish to sink
in earth, in a paradox of
feeding back the fertility
with a gift of sleep,
and perhaps the satisfaction of
a life-long debt repaid
is the final flying.

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