From The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing, 2011)
The bird you captured is dead.
I told you it would die
but you would not learn
from my telling. You wanted
to cage a bird in your hands
and learn to fly.
You must not handle birds.
They cannot fly through your fingers.
You are not a nest
and a feather is
not made of blood and bone.
can fly for you like birds
on the wall of the sun.
A bird is a poem
that talks of the end of cages.
I’m attending a poetry retreat with Patrick Lane this summer, so I’ve been reading his work. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to study with him!
This does what all good poems should: It speaks on behalf of its subject
Patrick is amazing.
A poetry retreat! That sounds amazing, I hope you get what you want out of it. Your poem is beautiful.
Thank you. Yes. It was quite amazing. Patrick read us this poem as part of a reading, and it was beautiful to hear in his voice.