Today’s reblog is about an influence on my life–and a prevailing metaphor.
I stand on a chair to reach my grandmother’s birdcage. My dress and petticoat flip out in back, as I balance on my palms, my sturdy toddler legs straining toward the parakeet. The parakeet contemplates my nose poking between the bars. I want it to sing. It’s all I want of this place, this apartment which rattles like death when the El rushes by. I think how much I miss my own home. Unless the bird will sing.
Maybe it’s something that happened to me even before I was born. I started reaching out for the word music with my baby fists, if only to rush them like a bottle to my mouth: “Little Miss Muffet”; “See You Later, Alligator”; “A Fairy Went a-Marketing.” I recited and sang them repetitively—until my mother screamed at me to stop. Even then, I slipped under the bed covers and sang “
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