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From Which I Flew

ISSUE:  Winter 2019

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?

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
keep leaving. 


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