Y. Madrone's 'Tulip is the bravest flower, I mean bird'

Y Madrone_Tulip

Sometimes, I love a poem so much I want to crawl inside it and live there in a very tangible way, but because poems are words, I’ll have to let them live inside me. If you’ve ever felt displaced, replaced, misplaced, unplaced, out-of-place … then, well, you’ll feel this poem. Y. Madrone writes of the pigeon, the tulip: “Residing on every continent but unclaimed: / not native or belonging // to anyone.” It feels good to belong, to be claimed or spoken for, and trying to navigate your way through self-realization can make a person feel wholly unplaceable. As Madrone writes, the tulips and pigeons are the most prolific, are never alone in their displacement. We all seek the same sort of belonging.


Tulip is the bravest flower, I mean bird.

Pigeon is an everywhere
bird. Residing on every continent but unclaimed:
not native or belonging

to anyone, country specifically.
Considered feral, or an invasive one.

However wild or native birds
have guaranteed laws: protection.

If you’re wild now but have ever been domestic
your safety’s uncertain.

This must be a blanket,
as in assumption.

Pigeon remains a stateless bird.
And so are we, sort of. Tulips:

most prolific worldwide.


Rebellious Women in Poetry (brought to you by rebellious women) is made possible by rebellious women. “Tulip is the bravest flower, I mean bird.” first appeared in Gulf Coast and on Verse Daily. Y. Madrone co-founded The Thank You Writers Reading Series. They have too many day jobs and inconsistently write for their blog, Notes of a Compulsive Self-Disclosurist. Read too much about them at: ymadrone.wordpress.com. The introduction is by Jessica Dyer, a writer & editor who lives in Chicago.

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