If God were kind, I’d have a beak and wings
and small clawed toes, to light into the trees,
and honey’d voice, with which my words I’d sing.
I’d sweep the winds and upon my wings seize
the sun-warmed breezes o’er this asphalt sea
and find freedom myself in foreign lands
but one can’t fly, when solid her bones be;
white-banded wings I thus must change for hands
and lose my sweeten’d tongue for whispers soft
that echo through the sky like falling snow.
Alas! that I will never spring aloft
while magpies travel where I dare not go.
The birds may once again find what they’ve lost
but man is ever cursed to be star-cross’d.