JEANNINE HALL GAILEY

 

Philomel, at the End 

He didnít finish me; at least not the way he meant to, 
locking me in that cold room, bleeding from the mouth, 
thinking of my lost voice. He couldnít stop me 
from telling my story, even with this stump of tongue, 
images blooming like cherry blossoms from my fingertips. 

It was the gods that freed me at last from his hawk-like grip, 
gave me another voice— garbled and forlorn. 

I didnít think it would end here, in the treetops, 
one more song silenced. Keep your eye 
on the sparrow falling, falling 
like the numbered hairs from your head.