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Poem by Katherine Mansfield
When I was a Bird
I climbed up the karaka tree Into a nest all made of leaves But soft as feathers. I made up a song that went on singing all by itself And hadn’t any words, but got sad at the end. There were daisies in the grass under the tree. I said just to try them: ”I’ll bite off your heads and give them to my little children to eat.” But they didn’t believe I was a bird; They stayed quite open. The sky was like a blue nest with white feathers And the sun was the mother bird keeping it warm. That’s what my song said: though it hadn’t any words. Little Brother came up the patch, wheeling his barrow. I made my dress into wings and kept very quiet. Then when he was quite near I said: ”Sweet, sweet!” For a moment he looked quite startled; Then he said: ”Pooh, you’re not a bird; I can see your legs.” But the daisies didn’t really matter, And Little Brother didn’t really matter; I felt just like a bird.
Katherine Mansfield's other poems:
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