Today's poem is by Barbara Hamby


Jesus has come into the mockingbird's heart,
and he's a saved bird, a motel of righteousness

on the highway of want. He's speaking in tongues,
lost Egyptian tongues of starlings of Ra,

Set's darlings. The mockingbird's a mummy
in the tomb of noise, his words tangled in tree

branches. He's a lion in March's army, big loud
roar, a nagging wife in the household of need,

but he's right, where once he was just unhappy.
If we lassoed 10,000 mockingbirds and cut out

their tongues, what a noose of discord we'd wear
around our necks, garland of complaint, twittering

rope of pandemonium, all the gripes of the ages
in one choker, one bloody bracelet of derision,

one flickering snake of doubt. But the mockingbird's
saved. His heart's in God's bank, and he's shouting

hallelujah on street corners, telling everybody
about hellfire and damnation, because more than

anything God loves to scare his creation,
set a fire and watch it lick through the night.

Copyright © 2005 Barbara Hamby All rights reserved
from Cairn
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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