The insolent crow of your hair
perched atop the luminous trunk of your neck—
which grew, greenwood
out of me—swoops, screeching
down your back, defends
of newly discovered wilderness,
the narrow land of you
is a flock of memories tethered to your scalp,
your body an island I have spent
your life discovering.
Once you fledged, bright hopping robin,
flew the length of the garden,
would go no further. I buried
my face in your down, breathed
the fading milk smell of the babe
who flew back to me.
At other times I found you a nest
of songbirds come to roost overnight,
heads hidden in the soft dark wings of your hair,
the pale moon of your back swinging below.
I, your mother, your sun, called you
up to sing, sweet cacophony.
I lit the world for you—the starlight
by which your animal brain found
its way home.
Here in your room, cross-legged on the bed
the flock hovers nervously above the hairline—
below, the wild bluff of your back slopes
forlornly away—and in their midst
your furious raven, the long dark tresses
of her claws the staccato ricochet of your caws—
oh, how you frighten our other birds away.
This is the last time
I will mother your child hair.
I will cut the shape of you a little closer
to the woman you are clawing
your way towards, my memories falling—
a dark flock dropped from the wind—
the way the caul slipped away from you when
you first slipped