The Firebird

Along the road between past and future

If you glimpsed me run, could you tell

Whether I was still pushing forward

Or retreating under the blows of pain?

/

If you witnessed me freeze and bend double,

Burying my face in shaking hands,

Would you think I was laughing at a joke’s echo

Or weeping helplessly over a secret hurt?

/

With my feet in the air and arms outstretched,

If you saw how I leaped off the edge,

Would you choose to imagine me soaring,

Or, acknowledging gravity, falling to death?

/

You won’t know: our paths have crossed for but a moment;

Let’s say that I ran forward, that I joyfully laughed,

And when I came to the edge of the world and stepped off it,

Let’s believe that I turned

Into a firebird

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