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The Great Bird of Love

Jul. 4, 2010
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I want to become a great night bird
Called The Zimmer, grow intricate gears
And tendons, brace my wings on updrafts,
Roll them down with a motion
That lifts me slowly into the stars
To fly above the troubles of the land.
When I soar the moon will shine past
My shoulder and slide through
Streams like a luminous fish.
I want my cry to be huge and confident,
The undefiled movement of my wings
To fold and unfold on rising gloom.

People will see my silhouette from
Their windows and be comforted,
Knowing that, though oppressed,
They are cherished and watched over,
Can turn to kiss their children,
Tuck them into their beds and say:
    Sleep tight.
    No harm tonight.
    In starry skies
    The Zimmer flies.

Paul Zimmer’s poem was selected from his most recent book, Crossing to Sunlight Revisited: New and Selected Poems (University of Georgia Press).  He has published 12 books of poems and received 3 Pushcart Prizes for poetry.  He divides his time between Soldiers Grove, WI, and France.


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