JC (November 30,1989 / )

Last Breath

It’s not that I suffer from hippopto-
(literally: the fear of long words)
That at least would be understandable.
Neither Ents nor grammar books frighten me.

Since time’s beginning, words were not hush-dead things.
But sense-sparks, shaped best in praises moving.
Bury my brain in a dictionary,
And in three days, hear the Old Story groan.
Time flies as fairy tales far away steal…

Red and the big bad wolf will blow-sing-blow,
But me, I’ve no breath, no song, no sweet name
Stirring softly, breaking ever always…
Or if I do, Distrust stands at the door:
Mousedom in his eyes; his mouth a cotton trap;
Scared to knock, he gropes for the key that’s gone.

In winter, the stones sigh till they almost break;
And I too sigh, and I too break, but words!
Words never come, or never come easy.
Is this doom or laughter Silence rings out?
Dumb lips stir and a Voice cries, “It’s finished! ”

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

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