White Chestnut

Free the birds to prophesy; fly like a bird.

The feathery bars of a cage
pronounced order from the smoky chaos 
of fires on the hillside; call me home
and I’ll become a ray
that slips through the stark white bars
and disappears.
The moon rising in a half sliver
was red, and called me freedom.

I rose into the smoke and ash,
between the sun and the moon
as a pheasant would,
golden plumed,
primed to recall
all beauty for mourning
with a sweet voice, lilting trill:
no cage can hold this song.

Emily Isaacson

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