Back and Forth

By Caroline Forster

Porcelain shards glistening bright

Tinged yellow in the jaundiced light

Swing back and forth

Back and forth

Like pale little doves in flight

Back and forth

Back and forth

Flitting through the eternal night

Pretty specks of white


Fly, little birdies, fly

Take to the sky

Fly away through the air

Goodbye, take care

Don’t ask why

Don’t dare to pry

Questions shrivel on the tongue and die

Who and what and when and where

Rest in peace next to how and why

Let us pause for a moment in prayer


Little birdies, please, my dears

Let the answers remain unclear

For how we came to be in this place

It’s something I simply cannot face

Little birdies, it’s my disgrace

My shame, my shame, that we’re trapped here

In the musty, dusky drear

So fly, my dears

Fly far from here


Back and forth

Back and forth

The little birdies sway

Back and forth

Back and forth

All the live long day

But they never answer me

And they never fly away

Because they’re not birdies, free to flee

But bits of bone of a man’s body


I cannot hide, I cannot run

Trapped in this closet with no one

With only a single lightbulb as my sun

The outside world unknown

All alone

But for the bits of bone

Of a person dead and gone

For the bones, they are my own

And they know what I’ve done