Part 2
by Jeffrey Murrell

She collects pods, and twigs and all manner of things
from out among the fields and trees,
and gum wrappers and plastic bits and old brushes
to create her objects of expression and passion
which she shares and expends for all the world,
fashioning new surprises from elements of fabric and wood
with cool images in shapes and lines,
detailing the story of a fruitful life
held down by others' excuses and lies.

From these things she sculpts the image of the fan,
conjuring images of belles from old Southland,
and the symbols of ancient wisdom
contrived of in that zodiac
laid out in place mats in Chinese restaurants
dotting the country from coast to coast,
sprinkling notions and tricks all over
for poor innocents like me, born in 1963.
But her year--1962--is the Year of the Tiger,
aggressive, courageous, candid and sensitive,
she must look for a Dog or Horse for happiness.
She must look for a Horse . . . .
But that was nothing at all fatal for us,
at the most just another worry.

Her fans decorate her house and soul and garden,
with delicate, unconventional spans,
like wings fluttering from out of her hands
unfolded, unfettered and free.
They are wings, like those of the birds she keeps,
mild little creatures with powers we deserve
to take off in flight, unshackled and light,
to mimic our souls, untainted, unsold,
still belonging to God to have and to hold
after we wrest ourselves from this earthly stranglehold
and take flight into the netherworld as ghosts.
Like the birds, she spreads her own wingspan
from her creativity,
whisking up and out and unfolding wide,
the wings of her consciousness lift her
and carry her heart aloft
and elevate her above reality
to the clouds of my true home,
wonder, desire, strength, and hope,
where we make an ethereal place with many others
unknown by us both, for there we only see each other,
quirky, eccentric, tame yet bold.
To share in her life is to open new packages,
from time to time revealing small surprises
which wonder and bemuse and set imagination rolling
through subconscious flower beds of comfort and worth.