Today's poem is by Michael McGriff

Against My Will

Against my will
I am reborn as a bird
who claws its way
from the throat
of a man
who never cared
for the moth-light of August,
who never read
the cosmologies of rain
or the doctrines of silt,
who never walked
into the static death-light
the goats tear away
from the clover,
a man who bled himself
of axle grease
keno tickets
and county roads
named for men
whose legacies
are Stop signs raddled
in buckshot
and gray light.

The night
keeps painting its tongue black,
and I am reborn
as a bird who flies
from the throat of a man
who gives no thought
to January's frozen
twisting the alder branches
from their trees.

Against my will I am reborn
into a land stretched flat

and bled of its salt and black ice,
of its choked roots and bird's blood
looped through the eyelets
of the southerly winds.

I am reborn as a denier
of barn dust pinion moans
stolen hand tools
and chipped dishes.

I am reborn with no thought
for the river's breath
pulling a tune
through the cathedral ribs
of a common rat.

I am reborn as one free
of reduction gears
ash buckets
green sparks
analog currents
pounding inside
the stubborn machine
of the horse's skull.

I am reborn
into the darkest hour
and its search parties,

their flashlights dimming
as the morning
brightens the room
where I am reborn as a bird

who claws its way
from the throat
of a man
who wears my name
for a face

and the heavy jewels
of compliance
around his wrist.

I fly through the window
of his voice
and make my way
to the edge
of the continent
where the scrubtrees
cower from the shore

and I discover
like the trees here
it's against my nature
to look out
over the sea.

Salt-disasters rage
and burn the feathers
on my back.

I open my mouth

and it's the man's voice
calling me home.

Copyright © 2012 Michael McGriff All rights reserved
from >Home Burial
>Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Weekly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2012 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved