Petit à Petit L’Oiseau Fait Son Nid
Little by little, they say,
the bird makes its nest.
I have been making mine
in silvered hemlocks, time
after time; today I used a red
thread I found near the garden.
I used to dream of living in a garden,
listening to words white orchids say
to emerald hummingbirds, red-
throated, stealing gold for nests
the size of women’s thimbles, time
beating between breaths, a rhythm mine
could never find trapped, as in a mine
long hollowed, tapped black garden
that metamorphosed over time,
caught sounds of earth-on-earth say,
Come bed yourself on rock-hard nest,
turn death to sapphire, diamond, ruby red.
Rumor spreads: inside the earth is red,
molten, thrusting gold like mine
into the sun, into evening’s nest
that sits above an empty garden
where orchids do not say
it is time
it is time
to ravel rays from ravished dreams, red
and unremembered; it is time to say
what is yours and what is mine
it is time to turn the garden
into earth, find fool’s gold for a nest.
I have been making such a nest,
little by little, time after time,
I have been dreaming near a garden
in threads of memories, ruby red.
I have been claiming what is mine
and inviting you to say
you want the nest, the gold turning red,
the time we knew was mine,
the garden waiting, for what you have to say.
—L.L. Barkat, from Love, Etc.
T.S. Poetry Press, 2014