In leafy Bloomsbury, the pigeons are straining their collars.
They are printing out the rain’s alphabet on the cobbles,
the muttering in their throats is the sound of water in gutters,
their utterance the consonants of Aeschylus. O Virginia, the birds!
As children, Cassandra and her brother slept the night in Apollo’s
sanctuary and at dawn were found entwined by sacred snakes,
their tongues flicking the children’s ears to clean them
so they could hear especially the voices of animals and birds,
and understand the divine language of nature. Listen!
The pigeons are describing you, and predicting your future.
Melissa Green is the author of two books of poetry, The Squanicook Eclogues, and Fifty-Two. She has also written a memoir, Color Is the Suffering of Light, and is finishing work on a book about Héloïse and Abélard. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts in the US.
This week, the Tuesday Poets are having a ‘Secret Santa’ exchange where we post each other’s poems. I’m delighted to have been paired with Melissa Green and be able to post this lovely poem. I’ve always been attracted to the idea that we can read the future through the natural world and I love the sounds echoing through the poem (collars/cobbles; muttering/gutters/ utterance). Thanks Melissa!
You can read the other Tuesday poems by clicking on the quill to the left. Melissa’s blog is Vesper Sparrow’s Nest.