Only together holding hands in silence can I see what a field has done
to my mother, aunts, and uncles.
The land around my grandmother’s
old tin roof has changed,
I doubt she’d recognize it from above.
How many blackbirds does it take
to lift a house? I’ll bring my living,
you wake your dead.
We have nowhere to go, but we’re leaving anyhow,
by many ways. When they ask, Why
you want to fly, blackbird? Say,
I want to leave the South
because it killed the first man I loved
and so much more killing.
Say, My son’s name,
his death was the first thing to break me in
and fly me through town.
If grief has a body it wears his Dodgers cap
and still walks to the corner store to buy lottery tickets
and Budweiser 40s.
I don’t like what I have to be here to be.
All the blackbirds with nowhere to go