Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Red Bird Costume

I have tied red ribbons around these wrists of mine
and I have draped my body in red feathers fine
I have worn a mask made of paper sail boat remnants
from a sunken ship of hope hanging on in fragments
I have walked waterlogged and soggy after dark
with broken shoes through a forgotten foggy park
where my little feathers fell beneath an old swing
like a scarlet songbird had stopped there to sing
I have gazed at the moon and felt melancholy woe
where glinting off the barren ground atop the snow
lay the echoes of my costume in a shredded crimson pile
of feathers and ribbons and a mask of crumpled style
I have dripped mascara into a bright red sash
and thrown away paper wings right into the trash
I have screamed at the sequins and glitter on the ground
with an alarming, sad, and most dreadful sound
I have left a trail of red all along that cheerful place
like a morbid bird died there wearing a paper face
I have torn off the ribbons once tied in bows on my wrists
and smashed apart a paper mask with my angry fists
where not a trace of once loved boats remained in the mess
to tell the tale of hope and what the mask could express
I have shredded the feathers like a panther shreds its prey
and I have left a glitter trail in crimson all along the way
I have walked across the park to a river with frozen toes
dragging one last remnant of the symbol of my woes
I have tossed the scarlet dress into the river bitter and cold
and stood with shivering bones like one now deathly old
and I have turned from the water and walked in freezing skin
towards a silver garbage can to see what might lie within
I have found a ruined jacket with patches and with holes
that reminded me of myself and all my hopeless roles
I have walked away long after dark wearing just a coat
grasping a crumpled piece of paper that had once been a boat
leaving behind a park that seemed a grave for red songbirds
telling a story of a broken heart without any words


By Elizabeth Azpurua

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