fly above a dry burning land--
they don't stop to rest in bare black trees--
lost birds come straight to your hand.
Lady gentle as the touch of death,
so beautiful, like a lost bird's song--
they sing, so sure you're their homeward star--
but they're wrong, those birds, lost and wrong.
Lost bird finds out when you stroke its wing--
lost bird lost Heaven, lost everything.
I've seen how you make fruit from flower
and leave a stem curling brown on the branch--
I've seen how you look at the ripening rows--
and the barbs on the fence where the night birds catch.
Lost birds come all the way from Mexico
caught in crosswinds east then south--
all just to bring you a Spanish song
from a lost bird's throat to your calico's mouth.
Lost birds lose whatever they bring--
lose sky, lose Heaven, lose everything.
for magpie #295.