Poem – Michael Harlow

Question

     i. m. robert lax

 

What would you do

If you happened on a woman
who whistled all too wildly
in her father’s house

Met up with a hen who crowed
as stridently as a cock, convinced
she made the sun rise

Dropped in on a man who spends
all his time looking long and ardently
into the mirror
_

Would you, as sometimes the old
stories go

one:     cast a spell on her hearing,
and banish her to the kingdom
of below

two:     kill the hen and prepare the pot

three:   strike the man blind, and send
him in search of a cage

_

I would

three:   tell the man to look behind
the mirror, and open his eyes

two:     arrange for the hen and the cock
to get together on a moonlit night

one:     whistle a happy tune, and make
a date with the woman for as much
laughter as we could bear

and I would learn the language of birds

 

 Michael Harlow

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