10.16: I Am But One Nightingale

I am but one nightingale-
Raised in the finest of nests
On the finest of rotting branches
In the finest of decomposing trees.

I remember a time when Mama Nightingale sang such harmonious songs.

Father bird’s brute force silenced her song. Slowly but surely.
Father bird also stifled his brood’s sweet, innocent chirps.
He clipped our wings, isolated our nest, cut us off from fellow feathered friends.
His mere presence had our little wings quaking, shaking, shivering.

We feared his anger, his temper, his unpredictability. We feared him.

Mama Nightingale tolerated twenty years. Tried to protect.
Mama Nightingale finally snapped.
She snapped like the dead branch upon which we were precariously perched.
Her wounded wings gallantly gathered up her brood, and we flew the coop.

We flew fast, we flew far, we flew furious, we flew free.

Without a twig to our name,
We sought to discover our inner voice.
We labored to shed our fouled feathers.
We started to sing the supreme song of Freedom.

We were we. Without he. Without manacles. Without fetters.

I am but one nightingale-
Joined here with my sisters in song.
Calliope-the very smallest of hummingbirds.
Together, we hum.

We sing of freedom, of joy, of Judaism, of hope, of healing.

May our music help those in need of healing, with refu’ah shlema.

May it help heal those, the way it has helped heal . . . me.

by Debbie Fink, M.A.

© Fink 2007


One response to “10.16: I Am But One Nightingale

  1. beautiful in its message and its form!
    makes its point!
    we were we, without he!
    A metaphor and a poem all in one?
    Wishing you well on your journey to healing.
    It is quite obvious that you seem “free”.
    Joy and freedom are two words that keep coming up for me, too!

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