Hope is the bird sleeping in the attic.
Wings flare and take hold of the air.
She was looking up and now looks down
from the zone of flight beneath the ceiling.
I hope she knows she is my love waiting
. . . for what I do not, nor will ever, know.
She can’t sleep through the night but wakes in dark
absence, moon shadows lighting brightly
dreams of the one who could not give her children,
the other who could but prostituted her instead.
Then this one, the married man, whose poetry
might lead her to think, We are eternal . . .
She likes to read sheet music as she listens
to her fingers writing her interpretation
of Franz Liszt in this concert hall or that.
He wonders if she’d found her man in time
what art their child would make, what to call it
to wait patiently for the piano-playing poet . . .
Esperanza, melt me down with your fiery fingers,
soothe my wand with your lips and let me find
your jinni’s bottle to fill near to bursting
with love that coalesces between us, your spawn
of mine own Ulster pride, your sweet London
where I want to go, though here my orange turns green.
Belfast is a smoky place from the fires of sod
we gather in the dawn and carry sunrise home.
I do not know how to tell you the truth I feel,
nor do I wish to weigh on your heart with sorrow
so hard earned I know there’s no god forgives
the stutter in my step, the caul that swaddled us.
(5, 11 December 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander