I remember the package you sent, wrapped in shiny sun paper and a heart-red bow.
I could not hold down joy. I grabbed a knife and slit it open.
Blood bucketed out and I was left with wings and the entrails of a nightingale.
I cried and with a voice full of glass I broke the news to you
and said I am not violent. I could not hurt anything as beautiful as you.
I could not love if I was shooting sparrows from the stars or
stuffing onions and sage down a warbler's throat.
You did not rebuke. You said you'd send another.
You left instructions, said: be careful, put knife aside,
contain murderous thoughts, first lift at designated spot, careful do not tear.
Then take songbird slowly out. Listen to it sing softly for hours.
I wrote First Lift Here on a bit of cardboard to begin with. You'll see that I didn't come up with the title. Sometimes typing out the first draft of the poem on a word document stifles creativity and I lose some of the interaction that I get when I have a pen and paper. So I like doing it this way rough first as it makes my mind a bit more active and forces me to think a little more. You'll see in the photo that my editing is a little mad and all over the place.