She Says
by Bridget Gage-Dixon

That she understands the language of birds,
That she hears blue jays call out for higher branches,
mockingbirds for an unmolested nest-
that she understand the song the wind
sings as it stirs the limbs of trees,
that the world is full of disappointed deer.

I say take your medicine,
This is best for you, that cures
are often pulled from plants
that sacrifice themselves for you
and besides the birds prefer their privacy
the geese resent your eavesdropping.

She says the world won’t listen
and the pills make her fat,
that she’d rather spend the day
gossiping with the grass,
than telling her secrets to doctor
and his notepad, that last time
she could hear the ghost of the tree whimpering
with every word he spread across the page.

I say you aren’t fat,
The doctor wants to help,
stretch out my hand, three pills
nesting in my palm,
say imagine feeling normal,
she says I do,
and swats my hand away.

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