Tag Archives: mockingbird

November hymnal (13)


November hymnal (13)

No silence tonight. The light bulbs hum.
The washer in the basement sends

a thick pulse through the walls and floors.
Cats scratch carpet. Steam surges

up pipes to the radiators in the bedrooms.
When I turn everything off, grief is singing,

in the dark outside a house in my mind,
and though it’s in a foreign language,

each November I know a few more of the words.
In that song everything rhymes, leaves

pushed into a pile by the rain, my mother’s
favorite paintbrush, an old recipe typewritten

and amended with a blue Bic pen. No matter
what you try to throw in the song, it’s in perfect

harmony with grief. November night. A low
front off the coast. A bad painting of a mocking

bird by an artist we never knew. No silence.

Small Talk

Small Talk

In the foothills by the one road
leading up a mockingbird leaps

into shortlived flight from grass to low
branches: on its fully extended wings

the white wing markings meet
into a lowercase “o” which is

the foothills’ song: quiet
unmarked and not to be mocked