21 September 2012

WE ATE THE BIRDS by Margaret Atwood

We ate the birds. 
We ate them. 
We wanted their songs to flow up 
through our throats and burst out of our mouths, 
and so,
we ate them. 

We wanted their feathers 
to bud from our flesh. 
We wanted their wings, 
we wanted to fly as they did, 
soar freely 
among the treetops and the clouds, 
nd so we ate them. 

We speared them, 
we clubbed them, 
we tangled their feet in glue,
we netted them, 
we spitted them, 
we threw them onto hot coals, 
and all for love, 
because we loved them. 

We wanted to be one with them. 
We wanted to hatch out of clean, 
smooth, beautiful eggs, 
as they did, back when we 
were young and agile and innocent 
of cause and effect, 
we did not want the mess of being born,
and so we crammed the birds 
into our gullets, 
feathers and all, 
but it was no use, 
we couldn’t sing, 
not effortlessly as they do, 
we can’t fly, 
not without smoke and metal, 
and as for the eggs we don’t stand a chance. 

We’re mired in gravity, 
we’re earthbound. 
We’re ankle-deep in blood,
and all because we ate the birds,
we ate them a long time ago, 
when we still had the power to say no.

Margaret Atwood


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