Poems

Barbara Bald: Poem

 

Risk  

 

Like clothespins holding socks on a backyard line,

or nylon knots between beads of a hand-made necklace,

pigeons perch high above the city skyline.

 

Each blue-black marker holds a space,

as if hands took pains to order them,

placed them with a precision

that prevents pecks and squabbles.

 

Is it instinct that positions pigeons so?

Or did they, like us, learn it was safer to stand apart?

Is it respect or survival that dictates space?

 

As sentinels surveying the scene,

their feet grasp lines that transport pulses,

carry our stories, our longings to connect.

They teeter on criss-crossing telephone wires

that allow us to technically touch.

 

Perhaps it is stepping too close to one another that parts us,

perhaps stepping closer would prevent it.

On this wire I long to see

one brave, or foolish, bird sidle up to another,

an avian Gandhi willing to risk a poke

or a peck on the cheek.

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One thought on “Barbara Bald: Poem

  1. Thought-provoking poem! Intimacy is a risk. Love is a risk. Do we evade these risks by resorting to virtual relationships on “lines”, via “tweets”, or via “pokes” on Facebook?

    I love the “avian Gandhi” — like an “avatar”.for a bird.

    I love the repetition of “peck”, a repetition that conjures opposites: peck as jab; peck as kiss.

    This section “Perhaps … / perhaps … would prevent it” reminds me of the flow between lovers-coming & lovers-departing in the book of poetry “Everything Yearned For” , poems by Manhae (a Korean Buddhist) and translated by Francisca Cho.

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