By Christine Stoddard
There’s an Old World flycatcher sleeping in my throat.
The slow song of a dark spell destined her to eternal slumber.
Better off dead than dormant, I say, and yet the thrush lives.
A lover once set a ruby rose afloat on a little boat to wake her.
He was the lover of a lifetime, and yet the feckless thrush lives.
No rose–no matter how red or fragrant–could wake her.
I dream of my nightingale opening her eyes and her beak,
and singing my story to a public that would never hear me.
She would explain the scars, the tears, and the many moons
spent curled up on the kitchen floor, scratching my ankles with
fingernails shredded from teeth always gnashing or grinding.
Christine Stoddard is a writer and visual storyteller whose work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Brooklyn Quarterly, The Feminist Wire, So to Speak, The Southeast Review, and beyond. She edits Quail Bell Magazine and lives with her shiny new husband in their kingdom by the sea. Learn more at WordsmithChristine.com and find her tweeting @cstoddard.
Christine also created the artwork that is used as the cover art and illustration for this poem. The image is called Triangle Destiny, and you can find more of her work at WorldOfChristineStoddard.com.