To walk outside and observe a couple of cardinals,
to listen to their song remembering
the appropriation of song, the suppression
of certain tongues, the oppressor’s constant struggle
to overcome the cardinals, to locate their nest
before the eggs open. Or to condition their children
to fly with their heads looking over their shoulders.
One flew backwards. One flew into a windowpane.
One could never learn. It was slow.
Someone said, “They’re all like that.”
Someone else nodded.
Used with permission from Mercer University Press