Song for a Stork

By Dayna Patterson

You are received differently
every time.

A queen in her chamber watched by courtiers
spurns a girl-gift, hungry for an heir.

A pauper in her hutch looses a wild cry
and pitches dirty onions at your slender legs.

A thirteen-year-old hurls curses before
enfolding you in gauzy amazement.

An accountant opens her files to “B”
and wordlessly tells you to deposit it there.

But if you came to me—

I’d fashion chopsticks fine as newborn fuzz
and feed you silver fish and fat desire.

I would gently guide your wader legs,
glide them through a lake of lukewarm tears.

I would fill the hollow quills of your feathers
with the silver offal of daily-shorn dreams.

If you came to me—

I would build you a nest of seven years
of shredded doctor bills and close-cropped hope.

I’d magick a syrinx of ruby for your song
congealed from the black-blooded chambers of heartache.

And with my own swaddled stork gift in my arms,
you can be sure, the echo of your clatter will crib her.

About Dayna Patterson

Dayna Patterson is the editor of Psaltery & Lyre. She received the Dialogue Award for Poetic Excellence for her poem “Eloher,” which won first place in the “A Mother Here” Art & Poetry Contest. Her chapbooks, Loose Threads and Mothering, are available from Flutter Press. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, Charles, and their two daughters.

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