I lost a poem.
Ever had the feeling?
“Maybe under the bed.” I say aloud.
Perhaps tucked into a unnamed file
or in the car. Could it be in the driveway or
by the landing to the porch?
The coffee shop!
Racing up stone steps past professors
sipping on herbal teas. A quick look around,
an admittedly too loud, breathy conversation
with the barista and I’m back at the door with
my head hung low.
What if it was the greatest poem I’ll ever write?
It certainly had that feeling of grandeur.
Those lines came out of me like water in a broken
basin. The lost poem had better metaphors than that.
“The Lost Poem” it already has an epic name that will
haunt my mind for decades to come. Some nobody will
stumble upon it years from now. It will blow in from the
east and crinkle against his heel. He will snatch it from
the ground and his eyes will light up and he will know
what to do with a poem such as this! Claim it for himself.
His popularity will rise and I’ll be the guy penning greeting
cards for the company that swallows up hallmark. Face
cards, a Facebook company using Google imaging
software. I will be at my lowest point when I find my poem
posted on newsfeeds by hip twenty somethings that have
a catchy name we haven’t even come up with yet.
At first, I’ll want to reclaim the glory that is rightfully mine,
but that will fade. And I’ll shrink back into the hole I call
a home, never to be heard from again.
Many years ago I lost a poem.
But you already know what it says.
Imagine with me, a concrete feathered bird.
He stands on two legs looking up
at the other birds flying through the air,
landing on telephone wires, leaping off and soaring.
Now, this bird often runs to the edge of the hill –
flaps his cumbersome wings as hard as he can,
and hopes beyond hope that today will be different from all the
other days – only to realize … that it’s not.
A bird that cannot fly? Woe is the day.
Better not to live than to continue on like this.
The little bird cannot bear to keep going with
such a great burden bringing him down.
But one morning, the concrete feathered bird hears something.
It’s the tune of a songbird.
It fills the concrete feathered bird with wonder –
and he decides to mimic it.
The next day he wakes up and practices again.
Day after day he sings the beautiful song
from the ground and watches
his feathered brethren dance through the skies.
It has been months that the concrete feathered bird has been singing.
The other birds start to leave their church steeple perches,
to circle him on the ground and listen.
They love to hear him sing.
I am that concrete feathered bird
and while I have had flight stripped from me –
and watched from the ground in silence for years –
You will know my song.