on choices, and how we measure our days

if i don’t turn my eyes away from the world outside my bones whilst the light is still raw and fresh, all the honest birds that live within the wild forests on my limbs, alight and take off for far-off countries, where they change, and they try to fit in with the locals—once they are there they do not want to stand out, do not want to draw attention to themselves, do not easily say ‘no. thank you. i have had enough of this. i choose my own life.’ and then without a fuss, they quietly sacrifice their feathers just to keep the peace, and so i don’t. i won’t do this anymore. i pick up that wet word, ‘choice’ and i plant it inside one of my first thoughts, and i let the light find me before i allow the world to kiss my cheek, and on days that i am stubborn and determined about this, all the birds are allowed to wake up slowly, singing with their clear voices that sound like the waters of the Sound of Jura, and they are all the shades of blue and all the shades of green, and all the colours of the sea foam and the stormy waves, not having needed to turn invisible yet, and their wingtips are shaped from new hope, which in turn blooms on the furry leaves of old hope, but i have to be reminded of this, and they also eat the memories of miracles for breakfast, and when they move out of the trees and settle in my hair, some preferring to nestle in the hollow at the base of my throat, i let them speak to me, because they still know what God tastes like, this is an easy thing to forget, because there are so many bodies who want to give you their God, and only theirs, but on mornings when i have missed them, in a moment of distraction let them slip through my fingers, they get to those new countries on quick, little wings and they forget where they grew up, the rich loam of my bones, and they try so hard to fit in—to give the locals what they want, that they grow entirely bald with grief, with a deep ache that lives inside, that sounds like something they once knew, but have forgotten, and then they start singing with their second mouth, the one that only knows how to be a chameleon trying to find her way out of a box filled with colours, and when all this has happened, it is difficult to call them back, and what i mean to say is that i do not know how to call them back, and i have to wait for new birds to hatch from my grandmother’s oldest prayers, and i have to wait for them to find their way back to my mouth. this is loss. this is loss. this is loss. if i don’t turn my eyes away from the world outside my bones whilst the light is still raw and fresh, all the honest birds that live within the wild forests on my limbs, alight and take off for far-off countries, where they change, and they try to fit in with the locals. they speak with their second mouth. inside their warm little chests, they live smaller than their smallest dream and eventually they forget everything that they were once given, except perhaps how to feed others, how to cut peace into small sharp pieces. this is loss. this is loss. this is loss. do you know it?

{📷 some beauty-in-the-ordinary from my days}

© Liezel Graham 2022

what we choose is how we measure our days, of which there are few.

as always, i hope that you find some treasure for yourself hiding between the commas and the full stops of my words.

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