Chirping Poem by Ronald Shields


I have a story to tell. A familiar one of a kind tale.
Colored by pigment and biased with a name.
Breeding contempt or some other monstrous thing
in hearts that pump fear as if it was life itself.

It's a story that comes in pieces, chunks or ragged whole
cloth, though it can seem stitched into a tapestry, or
quilted by an Amish maiden fresh as this morning's hay
and full of lies.

It's a story that cracks my voice.
About the cost of freedom.
About these wounds in my arms
bleeding secrets I once kept,
staining my bones like a Maori tattooing ceremony.

It is a story about blind alleys.
About mountains and trails meant for goats.
About walking in light and shade.
Learning to live in the light
and rest in the shade.

It is the story of the years and how they burn the skin.
The innocent days, and guilty nights
when I am no longer young.
About the grip of a force I cannot resist.

In the night I hear a cricket chirping.
It reminds me of music from long ago,
a well tempered riot of color and sound;
the cricket is chirping, the music is playing,
the torch is lit and I have a story to tell.

Adeline Foster 22 August 2012

Please read more poetry before you tell it. There is a lot more to poetry than just putting words to paper.

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Ronald Shields

Ronald Shields

New York City
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