by Nina Hart

She’s like a bird without wings. You’ve seen her before. There’s an ocean inside though she’s tiptoe quiet. Listens like a hawk. All grown up still wears pig tails hates piano seats piano keys but has a whole opera clambering inside her. Clanging and pounding and beastly it puffs her chest like a bellows.

It takes time to get to know her but no one takes the time. No one claps no lightening strikes and all too soon you never know, the opera could be over, curtains down.

Even he, even he forgot about her. It was one long short night. He stayed inside her all the moments twirling they could feel every last speck of ocean, and then that horrendous laughter, coming on for hours. He had never felt such a power, and neither had she, though she knew it lurked like a still pond with mirrors, and with the sharks and bears and whales. She knew this to be in her. She imagined the crawling and the snake eyes and the man wore a carnival mask and then he put on his face from before he was born. And then he was the biggest thing on earth, and she a donkey, a mule, and he knows her like a poison ride. A poison bite like a yellow jacket sting to the eye it hurts but is a gift.

Once he went away she was all the more a Bird without wings, and she walks in drab pale dresses down streets made for talkers, walkers, shakers and bakers. She barely makes a wince through the stumbled gravel and broken glass.

Just now from the Land of the Lost a golden hat arrives, perches on top of her head. Silver threaded mittens cleave hands and the buzzing whiz of wings surprise her shoulders. Morning lark winks. She is all strapped in.

Feet at once gone, shoes and socks and kneecaps gone. Empty pants billowing high in a wind she is flying. Wings they grow in her sinews like a bold going up and there she flies as high as she is, up past the trees she is flying. Pulsing wings aloft with a loud and veracious light.

Nina Hart moved to Asheville a year ago via Seattle, Washington, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her poetry has appeared online on The Ghazal Page (October 2009). She works as a massage therapist, has danced in San Francisco with Sara Shelton Mann’s Contraband, and has also performed with numerous bands as an electric bass player.

About Reclamation—Writing this prose poem reminded me that we are all so much more than who we think we are.