Small Flies and Other Wings – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

Small Flies and Other Wings

Christine Ay Tjoe

After the breakup:
easing her out of the settee cushions
so we could see the damage you left.

Spaces marked by absence.
Your idea of husbandry,
less obvious than building fences
to keep her tamed.

You took her wings,
kept them between glass,
along with all the others
collected and curated
to remind yourself,
how many birds roosted
in the catch of your palms.

They grew back so different,
translucent to the eye
and always tucked away
from those who might be watching.

You would not return to her
for wings that looked like these.
Not when there were others
much prettier for plucking.

15 Comments

  1. Oh, we picked the same title… it’s amazing also how we (almost) picked a similar story from it. It’s sad when there are those just picking the wings and leaving. I can almost imagine him being a collector.

  2. Tjoe’s title conjured a Bluebeard kind of collector – some lovely lines especially:
    “to remind yourself,
    how many birds roosted
    in the catch of your palms.”
    nouning the verb’ catch’ especially powerful

  3. This is incredibly potent. I resonate with; “They grew back so different, translucent to the eye and always tucked away from those who might be watching.”💝💝

  4. “They grew back so different” adapted but still able to fly, which is a blessing. Maybe after he’s long gone, the color and beauty of them will return.

  5. Your poem touch a nerve with me, Carol, took me to a previous life, painful, in a way that reminds me how happy I am now. It’s horrible how people do that, pick at the wings of the one who loves them, keep them close and under the thumb. The words ‘easing her out of the settee cushions’ convey so much, as do ‘your idea of husbandry’. Kind of reminds me of The Collector by John Fowler and, as Laura said, Bluebeard.

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