Today's poem is by C.J. Sage


When my father held his head from the sand for a time
and did his leather-black love dance on my mother's mute-brown back,
swaying wide from side to side, flailing his white-tipped limbs
and splining his bright red neck like a rubber band, drawing his infinity,
and my mother dropped her nose to the ground
and clicked her teeth and my father groaned in booms,
I wasn't here yet, and so knew nothing of breaking. How I'd have to
bust out of my shell, kick the egg walls in toward the dust nest,
go it alone, dig myself up and out of that crater, and live the dry life—
the tall, long-legged, feathery, flightless life. I grew my claws
and kicked wild dogs and broke their backs sometimes
because of caution, because there were some who would pluck
and dye my hair to just their styles, make a cape of me,
a wrap to decorate their hems and jackets.
A pretty package once, a runner away from packages,
I was born into captivity and I will leave a captive of this world.

Copyright © 2008 C.J. Sage All rights reserved
from The Southeast Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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