Today's poem is by Greg Rappleye


Who wrote these lyrics?
Glottal, the sound of water, worried
over jagged rocks. Then louder—
blackbirds flocked in the pines.
The dogs twirl and snap the air, the birds,
a near riot, rise.
Our year-old son, wide-eyed
against my shoulder, begins to wave,
his fingers like little tongues
mouthing, No one here can love
or understand me
, his song lost
in the protest of the flock.
The first to break arc already
a quarter-mile gone. Birdbrains,
they have forgotten our trees—
the amber sap and green needles—
though the flock tails back to us,
shape-shifting, a ragged scarf
heading across the blueberry flats
and over-flying the river,
where rusty freighters unload salt
all night at the docks. Here,
blackbirds still rattle the pines,
while across the yard,
hundreds more croak the chorus,
until the stragglers lift
and we are shouting at silence,
our son's hand still working
his hard-luck story at the sky.

Copyright © 2007 Greg Rappleye All rights reserved
from Figured Dark
University of Arkansas Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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