To Tell One Story is to Not Tell Another
To see the blossoms pinned in a woman’s hair
is to let the others bloom uncounted.
To paint parrots the green and yellow
of the flowers around them, using the same
raw swipes of paint, is to lose the birds
in a chaos of colour. Only the slashes
of black tail prove the birds exist at all.
How many birds live within the cage?
To paint the woman, her exquisite spine,
is to let the parrots drift out of true.
The robe slipping from one naked shoulder
will keep her within the shelter of garden.
No passageway through the wall of flowers;
there is no leaving the beautiful cage.
This poem was first published in the Connecticut River Review.
Pat Hale’s poetry is largely inspired by both visual art and the natural world. She is the author of the poetry collection, Seeing Them with My Eyes Closed, and the chapbook, Composition and Flight. Her work appears in many journals and anthologies, and has been awarded CALYX’s Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize, and the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize. She lives in Connecticut, where she serves on the board of directors for the Riverwood Poetry Series, Inc, a group which has brought poetry events and festivals to central Connecticut for over a dozen years.
The Ekphrastic Review
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