Christopher Woods

Maybe Birds Would Carry It Away


In her mind is the locket
She thinks about so much.
Inside it, wrapped in blue ribbon,
A single strand of gold hair.

She can't stop thinking about it,
That hair, how it would be
To see it again, how she might hold it,
Go back to a meadow in a country
That disappeared
When armistice lines were drawn.
If she could know this hair again
Her memory might rest.

But she won't open the locket.
She can't.
Maybe it's been too long,
The hair might dissolve in the air.
Maybe birds would carry it away.

No matter how much she wants to
She will not open it.
She keeps it hidden,
Safe in a drawer, in a bureau,
Inside a house on a small lane,
In a village that no longer exists.

—Christopher Woods

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