Tag Archives: The Bird Artists

Laurie Byro’s The Bird Artists

Thanks to Pascale Petit, I’ve been introduced to Laurie Byro’s
The Bird Artists
   
   
Jane Eyre’s Daughter
Laurie Byro
  
I kept thinking I was Jane Eyre’s daughter.
I suspected my mother really wanted a son.
 
Fascinated with attics I foraged through chests
with breakable locks filled with baptism gowns,
 
sniffed among moth-balls for matchboxes
from exotic pool halls, hints of adoption papers.
 
I kept thinking I was Jane Eyre’s daughter, trying
to find myself in the travel section of the library
 
searching for a honeymoon in Katmandu.
St John bristled when I wanted our first dance
 
to be to the tune of Sexual Healing. Every one
broke off the engagement before the tickets’
 
non-refundable fee kicked in. I kept thinking
I was Jane Eyre’s daughter. Weddings
 
were unpleasant since I would rush in late,
panting “I object” for the sheer joy of seeing
 
horrified expressions, maids tearfully ringing
hands and not bells. Today as I left another
 
thwarted nuptial, four fine blackbirds watched me
from the wires which connected my rubber ball
 
heart to my deeply anticipated “his”. My mother,
Aunt Reed, dear crazy Bertha, and daddy
 
in his mourning coat: the grim four posed perfectly
still like chessmen while I crossed my bosom
 
which throbbed like the July sun and waited
with little patience for mother to play her next card.
 
 
from The Bird Artists.