Flies (from The Bird Inside)


The world is awash with beautiful things
so graciously out of your reach.
The tables are set with silver and china,
the pepper comes out of a crystal endeavor.
The gravy is gold and the turkey is dripping
with the sweat of its labor’s life.
The biscuits are melting, the butter is soft,
and the peas are warm and inviting.
The talk of the table is business and hope,
there’s a game in every word.
And every hand is a winning hand
and every laugh is a charming laugh
and every smile is a white surprise
and every lip is a waiting purse
and every tear is yours.
The story is yours, but the credit is not,
the money is theirs and the rabbit’s been shot.
And that’s why your feet won’t work, my dear child,
and that’s why your mouth’s filled with dirt.
And that’s why your cries are stifled with flies
and the living go off to their work.

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