There Never Was a Bird
There never was a bird—in that cage.
Whitewashed for company who never visit.
Never muss the unsoiled perch.
Never give a feather to the edge of the snipped wire.
Never enjoy the hole and its ocean view.
It is what it can be. It is an object
With a title. It is a prince among princes.
It is a cenotaph for soaring souls that fear delight.
It is a third image of the blue peninsula.
It is ekphrasis redux. It is connected to this by this.
It is for this that I am.
Her words were heavenly enough to name that cage.
If I could—I would pin together the feathery paper scraps
Left behind—to build the poem named Object, Untitled.
© R. Jeffrey Roberts
Ekphrasis poem for Joseph Cornell's ekphrasis poetic theater for Emily Dickinson
Image: Construction, "Toward the Blue Peninsula (for Emily Dickinson)" by Joseph Cornell, 1952