Flamingo

flamingo
After Maya Angelou

It’s the way she’s bent
into a bird

Right knee tucked
into shoulder

She’s making a sculpture
as if in a ballet class
for a painter

Her toes, painted red
make a feathery tail

It’s the beak that looks
wrong

as if someone has taken
the wet rag mouth and twisted it

into a shape that can’t speak
Lips, mouth and cheeks

gone into the knee
He’s painted a line

down her fine china leg
First blood of a girl turning woman

One ear is open – human
Not of a bird It is listening

First published in John Murphy’s The Lake, July 2014.

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