By Ahsem Anwar Kabir

A little birdie looks out the nest

with gusts of wind beneath his wings,

filling him with a conquest

to find a branch from which to sing.

Never knowing all that went

into this moment, all it was

with ardent, garnered confidence,

his talons part the twig in trust.

But soon he finds it’s not so quick,

under skies this humid, dull and thick.

He thinks he’s singing pretty songs,

and once he’s right, but then he’s wrong.

Those who fly with him give him hope:

just enough to keep him out of crisis

but he thinks of tying a noose of rope…

oh, if only he were armed and flightless!

Most times, he feels not even that strong,

but aimless and prodding, detached and absorbed.

Civil, not salvaged, pushing along,

he waits, but his perch leaves him ignored.

Flying away, he knows not to what:

a high, mighty branch, or a deep, worthless rut.

And in staying away from swaying astray,

he does okay, but still he prays:

“Let me out of this place:

where the air is hot and heavy!

where the branch is but an abstraction

ever so distant: a façade of my imagination,

where all the currents feel the same,

sending me back and forth

like an empty soul with no control:

apathetic, trapped, apathetically trapped,

between the two extremes of repose and dreams!”

Well… whatever he, she or it is,

wherever he, she or it lives,

God seems to be bearing witness,

so our birdie persists until it’s Christmas.


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