Poetry / February 2008 (Issue 2)

Pigeon Cage Blues

by Clara Hsu

I know a man
he plays the chin chin
sits in a street tunnel
sings the Pigeon Cage Blues.

He clicks his tin pot
then bows to listen
for a coin to drop
gives it a snort.

With his blind eyes
he sees through the mesh
he sees through the strife
he sees through the guise.

I play the chin chin
you play the chin up
I work on the low down
you work in the high rise.

My home is a birdcage
your home is a doll house
I slurp a bowl of porridge
while you sip your wine.

Yet we bargain and plead
scheme and haggle
we crave for abundance
but would give just a little.

And our hearts are empty
our eyes are dried
we drag our stinky baggage
till mold grows
till seams fray
till the core rots
till the lid is slammed.

I sing for you, ma'am
I sing for you, sir.
In your hurry to your business
cast a side-way glance

mind the pigeons in the ditches
peck away the crumbs
then coo on the telephone wire
then lift in the air.

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ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.