The Nameless Bird
So often we mistake beauty for the light behind it.
We know better, but it’s one of our favorite lies.
We long for clarity, seen through the lens of unreason.
Love itself walks between, where all hope lies.
I don’t know how the swans find their way back each year,
or what causes two lovers to agree upon the same lie.
These winter crows don’t care to know your name;
but they recognize friend from foe, and they never lie.
The bird in your heart doesn’t understand that it’s caged.
It sings when spoken to, sleeps where its shadow lies.
Death wins the final argument; we understand this.
But that doesn’t make the songs we sang suddenly lies.
It’s true, brother, that I should visit more often than I do;
but the grave is not where any of our memories lie.
It’s no use asking me who is living and who has gone.
If you want the truth, let me begin with this lie.
by Greg Watson
Editor’s Note: This loose ghazal’s opening line immediately pulls the reader into the speaker’s world. The repetition that follows cements the emotional journey with more poignant truths.
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