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Every Good Bird Does Fly
Kay Day


Beethoven's face is watching mine,
but the metronome defies me like a creature
breathing with a wooden will of its own.
And she of perfect pitch and hands intones,
Take your time.

These exercises drain me, but I enjoy
the feel of ivory, smooth and cold beneath
my fingers scratched from climbing trees.
She often shared how this soft ivory, the very best,
came to her--ordered straight from Africa

by her father who was, as everyone knows,
a general like his father before him
who fought in the War of Northern Aggression.
Exactly half an hour, a click of the brass lamp
declared release. I'd slip out

and run past the cemetery, then skirt the edge
of an oak-pine forest. I'd push through our door,
clutching a piece like Moonlight Sonata
in a contortion of elbows and new breasts. Then
back to my room where I didn't even notice

the desk or chair or my small terrier begging
for greetings. I'd land on my bed and study the ceiling,
see a panoramic African plain with elephants thundering,
dust clouds suffocating those incredible creatures,
all of them with tusks missing.

From A Poetry Break (Ocean Publishing, 2004).
Used with the author's permission.


Kay Day is one of those writers who does it all--poetry, memoir, nonfiction, journalism, technical . . . you name it, she writes it--and does it well. Former host of a blog that focused on life and politics in the USA, she currently hosts a blog focusing on lesser-known stories: UnderCovered at Patreon. Kay is a former columnist for the The Writer Magazine, the author of two books, and her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. A former South Carolinian now living in Jacksonville, Florida,  she is a frequent guest lecturer at schools and political and book events.




Post New Comment:
Larry Schug:
Gives me the chills. The perfect union of what is inside and outside of a person; shows how thin our membrane of skin is.
Posted 10/11/2014 08:07 AM
A perfect poem in every way.
Posted 10/11/2014 12:10 AM

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