Mockingbird Remix

Revisiting an old poem—in honor of the mockingbird-hawk encounter I witnessed on my street several nights ago. I wrote the poem as I marveled at the number of different sounds and songs mockingbirds can make.


Fierce. Fire-rimmed eyes.
Zorro. Slashing, slicing.
“Nobody messes with my babies.”

A suitor croons.
Twenty 4 seven. Mimus Polyglottus.
Late night urban rapper man.
Drab-suited hip hop imitator. He covers
100 tunes. 200.
Blackbirds.
Barn swallows.
Sirens. Screeching
tires. Alarming cars.
No song his own. His voice
for her
alone. “Nobody messes with my babies.”

Fierce. Perched
on leafy high horse.
Diving.
Swooping.
Back off, backyard beagle!
Two-ounce
feather and beak projectile. Whizzing.
Whirring.
No music now. Battle
cry.
Rasps. Scolds. Trills.
“Nobody messes with my babies.”

Fierce. Perched
on leafy high horse.
Diving.
Swooping.
Back off, backyard beagle!
Two-ounce
feather and beak projectile. Whizzing.
Whirring.
No music now. Battle
cry.
Rasps. Scolds. Trills.
“Nobody messes with my babies.”

Birth.
Fuzzy head ruffled
awake to the world.
She stands guard.
Fierce.
He serenades.
Nestling
solos. She warns.
“Nobody messes with my babies.”

**Previously published by Mused: Bella Online Literary Review

Author: Jill Crainshaw

I am a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and an ordained PCUSA minister.

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