Poetry / November 2009 (Issue 9)

Two Poems

by Caroline Bird

My Love Made Me a Hat

First you had to catch the bee,
running around in meadows with a net,
skimming down hills on your grazed little knees.
You picked an angry one,
one with bad childhood memories,
pent-up aggression,
ideas beyond its station.
A bee with plenty to prove.

The next bit was easier,
some shops still sell them,
something from a constume drama,
something stiff and lacy
with hard, pearl-bone fasteners.
Something with a hatred for heads.
A bonnet with a complex.

Then you had to pin me down.
I thought you were randy,
I didn't know you were furious.
When you pulled out the gaffer tape,
I said 'Oh baby.'

Now I can't stop slapping my face.
My eyes are swollen to the size of bicycle wheels.
I flap about the yard,
this honey bleeding from my ears,
this terrible, terrbile buzzing.
And every day is a summer's day.


Sometimes the day goes silent, mouths
move in the street, people change, glide,
the click of a new slide in the projector,
chewing gum loses its flavour, people
kiss now, talk later, watch through glass,
pass through, pasteurise, curtains twitch
behind averted eyes, everyone is looking
for a word that isn't love, because love
is loud and the roads are blanketed,
we pick up the phone just to listen.
It takes research, graphs, ammunition
to say goodbye, each sentence
requires a hundred more, but darling,
my tongue is sore, I want to lie you down,
here on the pavement, put my head on your neck
like there's a geyser beneath us
that could flood the whole town.
Sometimes the day stops, people freeze,
one foot on the bus, or standing in crowds
holding bottles in the air, like realizing
your skirt has been unravelling since breakfast,
and the day empties out,
lifts upside down, shakes like a purse,
my lip is burnt, my clothes smell of smoke again
and I love you. It's raining. Just look at the rain.

(Both poems are from Trouble Came to the Turnip.)

Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.