Copyright © 2001 Bob Dornberg
"A Cage Went in Search of a Bird"This happened, of course, in May. A clean
brass cage, a little dented, with burnished
rose buds opening in the mid-vernal sun.
In the light air it whistles, clutching
a shaker of salt. Hanging far above
any practice of captivity, the cage is confident,
a decoration. New maple twigs pluck at its bars.
It breathes out years of dust from the attic
and inhales the droplets of rain. It spends
its inheritance on a cuttlebone. It studies
the allure of a scarecrow. Each morning the cage fills
with fog and searches deep into the afternoon clouds.
How the cage learned ways to change its tune!
Perched by a gate among deep colored berries,
it grows more restless by evening.
Explains how its latch won't work to a wren
who's just smashed on a picture window,
performs a madrigal for a whole flock of robins
taking flight from the edge of a field. The cage
is still empty, and the story of its search
can't end the endless numbers of birds.
Copyright © 2001
Mike Perrow's poems have appeared in Volt, Willow Springs, The Hollins Critic, Web Del Sol, and elsewhere.