a few weeks ago you were in the forest
wandering among the silk cotton trees, their flaming
red flowers littered on the path
mirroring the passion in you;
the various birds flitting on their branches
calling softly to you, while the animals
moved about quietly in the bushes
their deep silence entering you; here was
nothing to tell one moment from the next,
as if the wind-up bird kept winding back
the spring, resetting the world,
saving you from time and memory and pain
and you understood why Miss Saeki** loved the forest.
this morning, you heard the screeching –
the wind-up bird, loud and distinctive, a desperate
cry like the winding of a spring.
it doesn’t surprise you –
it makes perfect sense in fact
why you had to hear it today for the first time;
and you can feel it in the center of your chest
just as Murakami said, “Nearly all within range
of the wind-up bird’s cry were ruined, lost.”
so you wait for it,
knowing you should have never left the forest.
*The title is the title of one of the chapters in Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
** Miss Saeki is a character from Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore
This poem is heavily inspired by ideas in both these books.