Letter from a Drafty House to a Migratory Bird

He said don’t you hide in your scared little chimney
The faucet drips madness down an orange drain
Sometimes I know I’ll never see him again
All light. And all pinwheels.

In the summer we were Rabbits
And the grass was higher than our ears
One night you got stuck in the boiler room
And I was so scared.

In those days we could see so far
With your beak you brought me beads on strings
Sometimes the sandstorms would cover my steps
As we sat on the porch and talked about Jesus

Well I don’t know about Jesus Christ
But I don’t care who his father was
We are all somebody’s father’s kid
We are all somebody’s father’s kid
But none of us did what our fathers did

And in the winter when first you came
I tried so hard to keep the shadows
From marching up between the planks
I wanted to be your old oak tree
That’s what you were to me.

So I held my breath to to keep the summer in
To keep the sun from its yearly flight
Until my walls quaked and I knew I would die
Finally let go and watched the light scatter

And in the attic I was a field mouse
Gone, gone, I shredded the newspapers
With my teeth and waited

And in the spring I was a gingham dress
And in the fall I was a girl who wore it
I hated the flowers that grew on the fence
where you landed
because like them I grew high for you

and you’ve got no need for tables and chairs
or the yellow refrigerator rusted shut
when the pipes called your name and burst in sorrow
no one came, the waves faded to dust

and when you are gone, I will still be here
and when I am gone, I will still be here
in the lithe young squirrels across my linoleum
or the field mouse waiting for the beat of wings

the attic is above my head
I hope you come back like you said
because the attic is above my head
and I’ve prepared in your honor a newspaper bed

and like the flowers in the spring
I glean, and I think just one thing
that it doesn’t matter who his father was
we are all somebody’s father’s kid

belief gets bigger than the thing believed
I remain for the sight of your flight relieved, oh soul.

but unlike the flowers in the spring
I want nothing from you except one thing
except
come home.
except
come home come home.
except
come home.

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