Creation of the Birds
That autumn at the factory times were hard.
We had no silken threads left to stitch wings,
and plumage stocks were dangerously low.
In warehouse D no chirruping was heard,
so, grudgingly, they called The Expert in.
His voice was soft – he made no great impression.
The bosses said to leave him well alone.
Something about his gold eyes made us shiver,
so we kept quiet, asked him no questions;
his workroom’s light still shone as we went home.
‘You could see his heart and all its strings,’
our children said, ‘he painted feathers
with a mourning sound, a sound like violins.’
They said he held a prism in his fingers,
made latticeworks of song, sadness and sun
and breathed a fluttering pulse into each one.
At dusk, we left our factory posts
with ears full of their words,
while branches overhead sighed
with the soft weight of new birds.
Jen Feroze lives by the sea in Essex, UK, with her husband and two small sleep thieves. Her work has recently appeared in Capsule Stories, The Madrigal, Gingernut Magazine and a number of zines from The Mum Poem Press. Her debut collection, The Colour of Hope, was published in 2020. Find her on instagram @the_colourofhope and on Twitter @jenlareine.
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