I wrote the poem after realizing I’d ignored the starlings all season. I imagined my way into their lives as a way of talking about trauma and identity.
Today I saw a starling try to fly
through a closed window as if the pane
were nothing but air, no obstacle at all.
You feel like that, too, sometimes,
as do I, traumas lining your pockets
and you wondering at the weight you bear,
your desire to find a body of water
deep enough to cover you like a sheet
of glass. I’ve stood on that shore,
or should I say sore, open wound.
Maybe I should say wound, the verb,
as in how many years have we wound
and unwound like a thousand pulsating
variable stars, held each trauma-stone
to the light and tried to feed it little snails,
as if we could nourish the pain away
or nurture it into something that might walk
beside us rather than having to always
be carried or dragged? We are turning rocks
into sky, you and I, our feathers oiled,
our backs to the sun. We are songbirds.
Everyone seems to forget that.