3 Birds
by Brad Horton

There were 3 birds perched in victorious safety,
their names were not known and if they even had them is not important
They flew, one by one, like a diaspora into the vestibule of steel.
They were the only ones left from their village nest.
Neighboring birds were scattered, and they all waited patiently for the internet because
calling cards were expensive.
It was quiet there, and a respite from the rain
It was the 3rd Sunday in January
like when you finally read the book your grandmother gave you for christmas

They looked at the mud sucking at the feet of people passing by
and wondered
why they didn't get out of the rain too
The birds chirped to each other and posed for a picture by a passerby.
His camera flashed like lightning, and somewhere, thunder boomed.
He winced as if he felt their pain

It was cold.

Rain drops came down like Rain drops
and felt like waterfalls
waterfalls came down like the firmament
and they chirped stories of Noah
wondering if his boat would rise like a memory
when a memory was needed most to go on

The birds were young and thought heaven was crying for them

Where was mama?
why didn't she come back with the worms?
Where is papa?
The night exploded when he went out for mama's favorite snack.
The birds sat there huddled in their youth and waited.
Their young lives shattered by explosions
A constant clap of sheet metal roof hands in high wind and falling branches, staccato sneeze war cries
from the nostrils of the long nosed eagle who rode on the traveling sanctuary
the backfiring of American made muscle cars
the shout of the Old testament God through Joshua's trumpets
the screams of infants in Baal's fire pit altar
the hiss of the serpent
these all sounded so loud in their memory

these were a reminder of the necessity of flight
A reason to sit in the nook and hope for brighter days
A motivation for cranny corner naps, and stories of their elders
it was why hot chocolate was invented
when the rain came down, and the worms dug deeper
and hope slowly faded
the applause of the colliseum ripped them from their nest
shaking them in flight, and the lions and tigers roared
while slaves and indentured youth
dressed as soldiers bled
the arena was flooded
but there would be no naval battles
just reenactments of collective nightmares
and a longing for hope

exposing their worms if they were lucky
the rain was sometimes steel
It whistled and was poor at flying
It fell from it's high perched nest
It stuck together for warmth
and reached it's goal nearest to the ground
the birds saw this and stayed low in their hiding place
grateful for their flight and wished they could trade some warmth
for some of their acrobatics
If the steel would haggle and they could come to an agreement
everyone would be happy

the new people brought new snacks
that came in brown bags
discarded on the highway, and numbered.
#17 was their favorite. sloppy joes

It was cold.

Where is mama?

Copyright © 2009 - Brad Horton
Published: 12/3/09   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem