Rachel Bush

Sing them

Because I need to sew me
a composer and knit me
a singer who will wrap me
in the sounds of the words.

Because in this house I hear
sparrows in the fan palm and tui that
hang out in pink camellia flowers but
these voices have no words.

Because we lived with their questions
when our mothers sang to us,
Who is Sylvia, what is she?
When our mothers sang
the words became us
and the songs became us.
Where have you been
all the day, Billie Boy, Billie Boy?

Because this was a congealed
day at the cold leftover end
of the rind of winter but when
you said you’d sing the poems,
they put on their warm clothes
and went out walking.

Because every day the poems
stay folded and pressed flat in
the suitcase of their pages
till the composer unfolds
them in sound lines and when you
sing, they float.

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