‘After A Mockingbird’, by Robert Cording

At my open window—the lurching runs

Of mews and whistles, mechanical arias,
Whirligigs of a robin’s snatched cheerily, cheerily, cheerily.

Too much, too much
Isn’t music, but this mocking-
Bird will not get down from its high perch,

Will not quit calling out, there’s no milk, no milk, no milk;
The car needs gas, the car needs gas;
Hurry, hurry, hurry; that tie? that tie? that tie?

Until the bird seems legion,
And mockingbirds look down
From the lilac’s every branch, dismantling me

One moment at a time. Yet after
It flies off, no more than the briefest incarnation,

I step away from my desk,
From the hallway clock ticking off the silence,

And, at the window, sunlight shouts in the grass,
Irises guzzle clear blue air down their throats,
The lilac’s purple honeycombs buzz with sweetness.

– Robert Cording, Common Life: Poems (Fort Lee: CavanKerry Press, 2006), 88.

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