Mockingbird

 

I don’t need you to tell me why I’m here

or solve the mystery of how I slipped so far

and came to, lost in a snickering wood,

your trill my sole directive.

 

No bewigged guardian of the law

will ever compliment my patience, or sense

of beauty, or your eloquence.

Like you I’m playing with a kingless deck,

bound to songs that others made,

and with my life I sing out the pale result,

my reputation like the heavy coat

of a Victorian postman.

Kindness makes me angry. It’s rough justice.

 

Now we’ve reached the final, spoofing call

when you parrot the morning bell —

melody dug in, song-fuse set,

then that spine-deep tingle

that bursts in your abrupt last line,

enlightening darkness, slowing time.