Family

Marriage

she was pretending to be a bird
and i was letting her pretend.
i lay down beside her and remained still,
waiting to see how the bird would react
to my stillness.
i pretended i was lying under a single tree
in an open field
and imagined the hypnotic motion
of leafy shadows moving in the warm sun.
the bird lay curled to my flank
and after a while she poked me
with a finger (or a beak?)
to see who or what i was.
then she whispered this in my ear:
"put your hand on your breast,
and become a tree."
i did not know how to do that
but i did not question her
and her whispered words moved me
to put my hand on my breast.
then my hand rose from my breast,
and settled back down.
it rose again and continued to rise
and my curled body began to lengthen
my legs began to straighten
until i felt the floor beneath me.
my torso was carried toward the ceiling (or the sky?)
lifted by the power of the bird’s will.
and as i felt the strength of a tree enter my body,
and as i rose upwards
she leaped onto my back
and threw her arms around my neck
and her weight was beautiful
because for the rest of my life
i knew i could support it.
and she had helped me to be strong
to be her home
and in that moment,
the breath of happiness moved through me
so that i cried.
and she untangled herself from my limbs
and placed her warm lips on mine.
and we kissed.

Jack Rose

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