Broken shells seem more like empty graves
than a sign of birth
so he enters the world a misfit
waiting to be filled with instinct
or some other form of guidance which never comes.
He stumbles through wild forests
and human gatherings with equal uncertainty,
never flying more than a foot off the ground.
It is November, filled with somber day
and sluggish rain and he begins slamming into walls,
determined to migrate,
until his feathers are broken and bleeding.
The doctors, with their hammers and chisels,
cannot ease his trauma
so he constructs an aerie where he’ll keep
He’ll have a season to dream his only dream—
the full memory of his gestation;
remembering it’s much easier to build a nest
than to crawl back inside his mother.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Two Thirds North, The Red Cedar Review and The William and Mary Review. He has poems forthcoming in Bluestem, Poetry Salzburg Review and December Magazine.