Today's poem is by Kelle Groom

Little Wing

Charles decorated Nagasaki with cut petals, thousands
of pink and white stars to throw into Cio-Cio San's hair
like a night sky. On the fire ladder, I swayed

as if over sea, reached the fly loft. On a gangplank of sails,
I looked up into a giant harp, as if I were nothing
but the music inside, scenery below flying on ropes — cream

Austrian drape, American flag with 45 stars. It's the early
twentieth century, a 999-year marriage contract with a monthly
renewal, teenage girl like a delirious bird, here come the flowers,

here comes the moon, little wing. My red-haired neighbor
was Suzuki, wringing her hands outside transparent paper walls
when the sailor stayed away, no parasols, no fans.

The bird girl killed herself with her father's knife, sailor off
in the distance calling. He may love her sideways, but the facts
are bald, her heart fasting. When I called you, and a woman laughed

like a banjo, refused to let me speak to you, I rocked without
a rocking chair. Night after night, the same story told, drapes fly,
a giggling cloud of flowers, the girl's devotion escaping back.

Copyright © 2009 Kelle Groom All rights reserved
from Five Kingdoms
Anhinga Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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