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The Orphan and the Stranger

Marvyne Jenoff
From:   The Orphan and the Stranger. Wolsak and Wynn Publishers, 1985.


Iím an orphan, sir,
my motherís mute;
see these paper birds I make
(or fans or valentines),
tell me they sing, sir,
tell me I sing

Iím an orphan, sir;
these paper birds with hands I fold
with heels I crush their wings
their eyes
(my mother so serene):
scold me, sir, or weep,
forbid me

Donít look! Iím making something
white and small
and secret as a paper soul can be:
her flesh is racked and darkening,
help me see

High as the firmament she flies
and hides the sun:
Iím folding perfect birds again
each smaller than the last, each one,
and smaller, smaller, smaller I,
find the orphan quickly,
keep my cry



Marvyne Jenoff's works copyright © to the author.


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