Letter to America by Elizabeth Onusko

One Poem

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Elegy in January

The type of people who gather to watch
the controlled demolition of condemned buildings

are the same people who believe everything
happens for a reason. I’m not one of them,

but I envy them. They busy themselves with prayer
at moments like these while I sit with nothing

to do. I try talking to you in my mind
and end up delivering a monologue mostly

about my own grief, my tone windless, my words
paper cranes nose-diving. In the backyard,

a visitation of red-winged blackbirds
out of season. Winter is late this year.

The first cold spell is coming next week.
It’s forecast to stay.




Elizabeth OnuskoElizabeth Onusko is the author of Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor (Red Paint Hill, 2016). She is the editor of Foundry and assistant editor of inter|rupture. Her website is www.elizabethonusko.com.
Header photo of red-winged blackbird by Don Freiday, courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo of Elizabeth Onusko by Michelle Meier.


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