Today's poem is by Martha Zweig

The Bats

Born snagged in gorgeous guesswork, within
the year I felt my shoulder blades determine to quit
demeaning themselves hankering wings.

Malicious kin put me out to ill fortune.
Take this sack of knots, they hissed, which I hid
amid their sneers, since isn't a knot like a child?

For a spot to sleep, I took up the season's
likelihood of dry leaves with a single high chink
of water, nine or ten salutary minerals.

Something imaginary to eat will do for you,
the cave's inner trickle told me as it no
doubt had the bones scrambled before me.

For divertissement, minims of sentiment,
I made do through an interview among rodents
& rumors & other slight acquaintance

even though I, sworn to the family silence,
and I, appointed the family liar,
and I, of the family vanishingly shy,

replied almost more little than possible.
Never you mind: in the advance of the kindly
dragon they serve, the bats skipped formalities,

bombarded & primped me & curtseyed away
as I'd fly apart recollecting myself
as rumble and rubble as wind as the sulfur dust

shifted clumsy feathers & scales hunkered me down.
I told the dragon my trouble. It sighed;
the dragon rolled its throat & sighed such fire.

Copyright © 2012 Martha Zweig All rights reserved
from New Orleans Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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