I take her to the garden, a place beside the bubblegum dahlias.
I sing to her softly, the way my mother sang to me.
My song hypnotizes her, like a mystic blessing,
and she grips my finger; a tightrope walker in a balancing act.
I’m careful not to jar her up and down, there’s little room for error.
One unpredicted joggle and she’ll flee beyond rainbows,
though in my song, I tell her rainbows aren’t all they seem.
There’s a flash of a second when we’re both unsure.
One moment of distrust, when I become still − resembling
the figure of Saint Francis before the sparrow takes flight,
his songbird breaking free, above all flowers, slashing through
clouds, one bare hand raised to the sky.
Still, I take her to the garden, and I hear my mother’s song,
she loosens her hold as I remain steady. She takes her twig
ankle, raising one leg at a time, until she’s left my hand to sit upon
her whittled down perch and she enters the cage, begins to sing
about rainbows, though in her song she tells me, rainbows
aren’t all they seem.
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee. She is the recent winner of the RED OCHRE PRESS Chapbook Competition with her entry Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored six chapbooks and two e-chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, newly released from March Street Press. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines including: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Able Muse, Poets and Artists, Foliate Oak and many more. According to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. Visit her website: http://www.clgrellaspoetry.com.