The Bird Cage


This is the shelter where, during my youth,
I moved into the clock innards housed in the roof.
I was homeless. The circular attic was cold,
But carpet was laid between beams, and an old
Oil lamp had been left by some long-ago guest.
Enough to read Descartes up here in my nest.
So I wrapped myself up in my trench coat, lamp dimmed,
As the click of the clock wound itself round my limbs.
When the day broke I looked through the cracks in the ceiling.
The dark slowly drained from the damp streets, revealing
The yellow rectangles of cafes beyond.
I swung myself down through the hatch, and moved on.
I was empty, and hungry, disenfranchised and broke,
But a poet who’d wrenched his soul free from its yoke.

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