Poetry by Delilah Dennett


As the car edges onto the precipice of white lines
Dancing along veins of clogged roads,
A hurt to hurt the bounds of nature -
A passenger goes limping by,
On its two claw foot legs,
One wing tucked seamlessly into its side,
The other hanging like a corpse from a rope -
Stiff at strange angles, the bird trembles and skiffs
Its way across the road, lucky enough to have caught the
Green light of day, before engines revved
To pound it down, pound the beast under corset tyres.
Aside from arising in us our animal natures,
Perhaps the bird, a death maid to Versace
And carrier of the ripply lit olive branch
Found its sunrise in a cluster of leaves, a bush billowing out
To Dawn. It carries the white of its
Purity to the lingering spine of day, to rest somewhere
And learn to flee from cloying masks, darkness
Hiding talons or claws. It journeys on foot.
On unnatural land,
To the shattering bones of a breaking evensong,
The concrete tugging at its mangled wing
Whilst a congested symphony fills the air.
But, being a bird,
A ground-bound dove cusped on the event horizon of sky,
It probably died on the way to new lands,
Without a song or last flight
To cherish in its throat.
Rather than getting sentimental about the whole scene,
I decided instead to solidify its pain in a kind of tangible way,
Pounding powder for ink out of its paralysed wing,
And let words fly where birds cannot -
A eulogy to that broken dream vessel
Heading out on its shade of emptiness.
Even happy animals suffer, in their silent pride,
Even birds who drain the songs of god.


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