• Jørn Earl Otte

"Mockingbirds" -- April 19, National Poetry Month


Too many days

you have stood

in the marrow of your own

peace and tranquility,

watching the destroyer rip across the sky,

staring at the razer of dawn and dusk.

Just crawl inside,

hiding is what you do,

under the thawing floorboards,

shielding your brain from cascading rocks.

You hear them calling.

Clear, angry gasps. Desperate prayers.

Your gay neighbor.

Your deported co-worker.

Your dead black unknown.

Humming familiar tunes through gritted teeth,

rocking back and forth on the arches of your feet,

riding out the thick brutal waves crashing down on your aching back.

Until the tide is lower.

Until the clouds have shifted.

You remind yourself

it’s not really your fault.

And inside of you,

domesticated eagles

are laughing, “screech, screech, screech,”

knowing you will feed

them again tomorrow.

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