Sunday, December 19, 2021

Blue Jay

Bluebird, bluebird,
tap me on the shoulder.
Oh, Johnny, I am tired.

            ~children’s nursery rhyme

Its harsh, shrill cry
scratches the dark blue evening sky,
demanding our attention,
threatening to rip open the heavens
and expose the eye of Armageddon.

Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah
did the same with stubborn Israel,
pointing the finger,
exposing the lie,
calling men out
on the collective cerebral cortex
scrubbed clean of truth
so that lackeys might kiss the stone feet
of the idol deaf and dumb.

The D.C. metro bus carries freight
shuttled in from the Land of Nod.
Exhaust spills into the ozone
as men and women spill into a puddle of brain
while the jay shouts “Cry Havoc!
And let slip the dogs of war.”

Evening grows darker
as the jay finishes his screed.
We have been tapped on the shoulder,
roughed up in soul,
delivered to a fork in the road
by a crest of blue feathers.

I pour a tumbler of scotch.
Oh, Johnny, I am tired.

~William Hammett

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