Stella - Poem by Ralph Burns
Flap, flap went the mind of the bird
Who flew out of my grandmother's attic
Like heat in the creases
Where air used to be.One week
Of summer was all that house
Could take of my brother and me.
After she died, someone, my aunt I
Think, arranged for her to be driven
Back to Kingfisher, Oklahoma for the
Funeral.It was raining, the mortician
Hadn't arrived yet, so the driver
Left her there --
My grandmother, unembalmed, in darkness,
In the month of the Green Corn Ceremony.
But she wasn't Cherokee, she hated Indians.
Her story was only deep, irregular
Wing-beats of the heart.
Down dropped a huge bright-colored
Night-bird with large crested head,
Which, when raised, gave
The appearance of being startled.
It skimmed a few puddles gorging
On insects and a lizard or two.
Then banked south for my
Grandmother's house, bright star.
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