The Origin of Birds
For hours, the flowers were enough.
Before the flowers, Adam had been enough.
Before Adam, just being a rib was enough.
Just being inside Adam’s body, near his heart, enough.
Enough to be so near his heart, enough
to feel that sweet steady rhythm, enough
to be a part of something bigger was enough.
And before the rib, being clay was enough.
And before clay, just being earth was enough.
And before earth, being nothing was enough.
But then enough was no longer enough.
The flowers bowed their heads, as if to say, enough,
and so Eve, surrounded by peonies, and alone enough,
wished very hard for something, and the wish was enough
to make the pinecone grow wings; the wish was enough
to point to the sky, say bird, and wait for something to sing.
Copyright © 2016 by Nicole Callihan. “The Origin of Birds” was originally published in Rise Up Review. Used with permission of the author.
Nicole Callihan is author of Translucence, co-written with Samar Abdel Jaber (Indolent Books, 2018).
Date Published: 2018-09-24
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/origin-birds