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Pattiann Rogers
Pattiann Rogers
Born in 1940, Pattiann Rogers is the author of numerous collections of poetry...
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Stone Bird

 
by Pattiann Rogers

I remember you. You’re the one
who lifted your ancient bones
of fossil rock, pulled yourself free
of the strata like a plaster figure
rising from its own mold, became
flesh and feather, took wing,
arrested the sky.

You’re the one who, though marble,
floated as beautifully as a white
blossom on the pond all summer,
who, though skeletal and particled
like winter, glimmered as solid as a bird
of cut crystal in the icy trees.

You are redbird—sandstone
wings and agate eyes—at dusk.
You are greybird—polished granite
and pearl eyes—just before dawn,
midnight bird with a reflective
vacancy of heart like a mirror
of pure obsidian.

You’re the one who flew down
to that river from the heavens,
as if your form alone were the only
holy message needed. You were alabaster
then in the noonday sun.

Once I saw you rise without rising
from your prison pedestal
in the garden beneath the lime tree.
At that moment your ghost
in its haunting permeated every
regality of the forest with light,
reigned with disdain in thin air
above the mountain, sank in union
with the crosswinds of the sea.

I remember you. You’re the one
who entered in through my death
as if it were an open window
and you were the sound of the serenade
being sung outside for me, the words
of which, I know now, are of freedom
cast in stone forever.







Pattiann Rogers, Firekeeper: Selected Poems (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Pattiann Rogers. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions. www.milkweed.org.
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