A blackbird flew head
first into our picture window.
It left an oily portrait of a driven
bird with solid eyes,
wings spanned for furious flight.
There is no shadow of doubt in
this portrait. It is all success.
And yet we know what happened.
We put on gloves and found
the creature hobbling in our yard.
It was beyond repair, but our daughter hoped
there might be a salve,
a place to lay it down and let it rest.
The last piece is the hardest.
We know nothing of a bird’s fear.
It would not hear of hope.
It wanted no salve, no honey.
It went on shrieking,
It lay down in the dust.
The crowd takes their things
and leaves the lights, empties
into dizzy streets. You
are one of them, as
night splits open like an orange,
and you are two, three, four, then
countless pieces of who you used to be.
You want to join the revolution.
You will go with anyone, anywhere.
You could die right now in this
Think of it, thousand fold
each heart unfolds the fingers of each fist,
Be quick and do not look away.
They are carried easily,
they are not afraid.
Carolyn Murdoch lives in Northern New Jersey. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Confrontation, Gargoyle, Narrative, PANK, and others. contact