by Laura Stott
A moon rises and children parade
around the corner carrying
colorful birds in their hands.
They are so careful with their secrets.
They want to be asked, What kind
of blue is your bird?
This is childhood: In each doorway
they let one fly, exotic wings folding
still on the steps, behind
or disappearing, a small point
in a blank sky.
Birds flutter through hallways,
large white and iridescent
green feathers. They land on linoleum
kitchen floors, beside windows
that look on old back yards.
Door to door the children are gathering sweets
and a little boy dashes across the grass,
carrying something bright and orange,
its tail waving behind him like a flag.
One is given an apple,
another a bit of cake.
What kind of blue is your bird?