Today's poem is by Elizabeth Harvell

Goldfinch After Rain

Where the gold of your feather, pulled
by flame, lifts from its surface and bleeds

into the water drop, domes above the body,
I see an iris bead, flatten, and slip

like an eye's final closing. I remember
your history: a string tied to your leg

tethered you to some wanting child, kept you
close to the ground yet somehow flying

low enough to entertain. But your body was
more than that—a tongue for what

the mouth could not form. How many men
painted you clutched in Christ's hand,

your feathers spilling from the child's
fingers. How many needed to confine

your wings in the palm and silence you—
no song reflected in your eye. I lift you

now from the ground outside my house,
brush the water from your face, and force

my candle closer. I hope to see a need
to keep you here; I bury you in the dark.

Copyright © 2005 Elizabeth Harvell All rights reserved
from Crab Orchard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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