Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Red Wing by Gerard Mullan

I hold this idea in my hand
Testing it with my fingers
feeling deep grooves and smooth planes
Weighing its worth in my palm
My fingers locked tight.

I could tell you about it,
I could, for it twinkles in my eye
and whispers of it tickle my tongue.
It pulls my body like a dancer cupping my hand
and is cushioned between pen and paper.
But what if it’s crippled?
What if I held too tightly, and broke its wings?

I think it over, my mind whet
I test the balance of it, wondering
how best to throw it out there
It feels safe with me,
It keeps me warm
And I sleep with it cradled to my chest,
Dreaming warmth by its glow.

So unsettled
So aggrieved
The time comes to let it go,
To pop it open with the tip of my reserve
And see it spurt open on an empty page.
It opens like a wound
Redness and hurt, euphoric pain

I lower my neck to drink of it
and on my lips, and in my eyes
the energy flutters
Humming with life, sanguine sinews
And beating the air
They rise
Pulling from my face,
crimson with youth

It dampens the air in play
I watch it leap and sing and soar
As it writes upon me all the amazements I never knew
From holding it in a closed fist
Wondering what it was.


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