On stones, surrounded by water, and watch trees.
Then a branch in a storm at night came crackling
Down to bridge their moat, and they crossed over
And climbed those trees and waited for daylight
In chorus then, they lifted wild new voices,
New sobs and cackles and hoots, new chatters
And screams and squeals of naked joy in the morning.
They moved past cages and walls through the highest limbs
High over the heads of keepers who called them
To come back tamely to that other kingdom.
But the day kept turning and branching. There were no
But branches like streams to follow, where they could cling
And sway, spread-eagling, stretching against the sky
Like prehensile stars, while keepers held up pears
And apples as red and yellow as sunlight.
By evening, hungry, all of them had fallen
Quiet, and they came slowly down to the ground
To be taken in, to spend their days on stones
For the mumbling and shuffling watchers, the upright ones
Who would stand under the trees, not dreaming of climbing,
Not dreaming of waking with the gift of tongues.