I Fed the Birds

by johannespunkt

The day you disappeared, I fed the birds:
I feared the pigeons would get bored and go.
My fears were realised, in other words.

So I cut up the calendar in thirds.
It’s bright, you’re here. It’s rain, you’re not. It’s snow,
the day you disappeared. I fed the birds

a mixture of unspokens and unheards.
Our cockatiels still bear your accent, though:
my fears were realised in other words.

I deal in unexpecteds and absurds
but never thought you’d break a promise. So
the day you disappeared I fed the birds.

An empty pasture save the ducks, those herds
I shepherd with my trail of crumbs. But no –
my fears were realised in other words.

I hid the end in shakens and in stirreds.
It’s always been like that; the things we know
(the day you disappeared I fed the birds
my fears) were realised in other words.

~

A collaboration with Richard Kirby (@_L_M_C_). I wrote the first line and he wrote the third line, and then we each wrote a villanelle with that as the skeleton. You can read his poem here: /status/738698600990027776

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