Broken Birds is a prose poem written for the Introduction to Poetry course. It is part of a collection of poems called A Timeless Exchange.
I used to envelop myself in promise. The natural endowments and contemplations provided by the Kingdom of Uneven Odds. When I was born, I brought a golden-yellow light into the world with me. It hung in the sky, among the tall trees. It was not dim before my arrival, yet day by day, it mended marrows and replenished souls. It was a relief. After I took my first breath, the kingdom pronounced me a decent life in return for the light. Every day and night, the town held me tight, like a blanket. It pulled me in close, and the breeze murmured, “Remain a few moments longer.”
The land gave me a mother, who let me know the affection she felt for me. She was an adoring woman. The town gave me all that it had, but most importantly, it gave me her. It gave me a home that never needed to be settled or improved. It gave me a garden to lay in, to watch the gleam I released to the world. It gave me a guarantee that I would never need to address what this life would bring. For I knew, my flicker was still among the people and that gave me a reason to wake each morning.
Before resting, my mother murmured the account of broken birds she saw on the side of the road. With a frail voice, I asked, “how would they live?” My mother revealed to me that “no creature was genuinely broken. They may be weak, however, in their bones laid your yellow light that would re-mend their spirits like nesting dolls, there would always be another existence within.” She whispered, “They never asked for nursing nor help, they needed to battle their own civil wars, alone.” With a fragile heart, I thought, what an existence to live, or even what a demise to encounter. I found it disheartening that the one with quality, always seemed to shout that broken birds should endure. When she left my room, I prayed to this town, to never break my bones, nor my spirit. The trees outside of my open window sang the quiet sorrow of me receiving a good life.
There were many tales this town couldn’t tell me, but only time could. And the ticking clock did, it strolled down an endless path of impeccable spirits, and chose mine to be the one to diminish. Time stole the wind that trailed in my lungs. The blood that once pumped within my veins. It stole the admiration my mother once had for me. It dimmed the guarantee and the light. In the Kingdom of Uneven Odds, the mists sobbed through my final days and they held me more tightly than they did before. The breeze, in the grass, sang melodies, and ballads, beseeching me to linger a few minutes longer. For the endmost time, I pleaded my despair, to not break my spirit nor bones. The kingdom quickly echoed “it won’t hurt any longer.”
While my soul was slowly inching away, my mother began to see me as any other raven or crow sitting on the edge of the avenues. On my last night, she enveloped me in fleece and laid me in the field, which I had only recounted in bedtime stories. It was cold when she laid me down, silent shudders went through my little toes. I didn’t cry a word, yet looked into her eyes, and saw that she felt no dismay. I smiled at her and bid a fond farewell. She stroked my cheek, kissed my temple, and pronounced me hers, never again.
That night, I lay in a constant field of rotten grass and broken flesh. I lay with the Storks, the Eagles, and millions of flightless birds. I cried to the Crows that I felt tired, and the Ravens responded they felt the same. With the last breath, I said thank you to this town, for adoring my flawed bits. With a last cry, I said sorry to my mother, for becoming one with the ashes, of a million broken birds.
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