I do not give up hope, though no feathered
thing sits and sings at my open windows,
which look out on a washing line, tethered
to my neighbour’s balcony, dingy rows
of plastic strings and pegs, the deep shadows
of my own building on it, fallen forward –
a skyline toppled, downed like dominos.
A word game where hope can’t finish the word.
The only thing that flies in is a raptor
with blood on its beak, the sharpest claws
scrabbling the old panels of the railing.
It leaves bloodstains. Hope is not the chapter
nor verse of its song, I lean and listen close.
I don’t give up an inch, but it sings nothing.