Some Birds Perish in the Learning

Will we look back
upon this year
with perfect vision?

Might cartoon
balloons of thought appear,
transparent minds
blooming like dahlias?

Let’s pack up old language
to lighten the scale.

The clenched fist of time
poured hundreds of years
tipping the whole machine
toward ivory towers.

Now inner workings
are revealed—
we see suffering
behind the grinding gears.

To weep, exclaim in agony,
turn your face in silence
will not stop the steely teeth
of systems that never sleep.

Some birds perish
in the learning,
pushed from the nest on wings
like flimsy scaffolds,
the attaching muscles
new and tight.

Speaking new words
won’t kill me
fresh language may be clumsy
on my tongue.

I will share the branch
in poetry, in life
rest beside me on the bough
and we can harmonize.