With a trowel, chipping bit by bit at the garden.
You find a pair of canaries—your mother’s—long buried,
fallen wild. Gone, every muscle, wing, and feather tying the body
together. In your hands, their skeletons like light
slumped over a windowsill, broken-necked.
According to scripture, all you need is faith the size of a claw
to command whatever has left you to return.
Be uprooted and planted here again
in this cage I’ve built for you, you should say. Open your arms
wide as if the hull of a long lost ark was coming to shore itself
against you. So often your mouth feels like the sky
in a dark, buttoned up gown. Remember, that female bird
wasn’t built to sing either, in accordance with science.
Take her fibula and tibia, made perfect from perching.
Take the radius and ulna from her clipped wings and replace his
with hers. It should feel like you’ve rebuilt man
from woman’s most essential parts. This must be how God felt
when he wrapped the rest of you around something as small
as a man’s rib and expected it to give you life.
Anna Rose Welch is a classical violinist and editor from Erie, PA. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Crab Orchard Review, Linebreak, Water~Stone Review, Ruminate, Gingerbread House, and Rufous City Review. Her first full-length manuscript, Noah’s Woods, was recently a semi-finalist for the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry and the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.
Feature image via Flickr by Rafael M. Milani