Too Long in the Wind

 
that morning you awoke
to wrinkled wrists skin
not smooth as the night before
in the light too muted for morning
a sparrow’s song seemed unfinished
writing came dressed
in made-for-television sentences
warped grammar allowing
a mere rant in 80 characters

you who can no longer make tears
weep silently for every miscreant
act against humanity every
enslavement lynching rape of humanity

your eighth decade remains raw
inside the choke-hold memory
of the normalcy of it all
in the great slave-holding state
of Virginia cops stop traffic
for an endangered snake slithering
across the road but what else
could a good cop do
a red hawk sails above the tree line
on a chimney pot a robin struts

 

 

 

Colleen McElroyColleen J. McElroy lives in Seattle, Washington. Winner of the Before Columbus American Book Award for Queen of the Ebony Isles, McElroy’s poetry books include Here I Throw Down My Heart (finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award, the Walt Whitman Award, the Phyllis Wheatley Award, and the Washington State Governor’s Book Award) and Blood Memory (finalist for the 2017 Paterson Poetry Prize).
 
Read Colleen J. McElroy’s first Letter to America poem, as well as more poetry by Colleen J. McElroy previously appearing in Terrain.org.  

Header photo by Tom Fenske, courtesy Shutterstock.

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