Mockingbirds Collection, pt. 3

This is another series of poems from deep in the vault (sometime in 2012)! The collection was inspired by the poem Mockingbirds by my good friend Katie Wisnosky, which serves as the first of the four poems in the collection. Each of the subsequent poems was written in light of the previous entries, and the result was four poems which are all wildly different from each other, yet still retain a strange cohesiveness built on a series of recurring images: a thematic watermark, of sorts. Enjoy!

Mockingbirds Collection, Part 3
by Nygel Metcalfe

We are monsterbirds.
Backsliders in training
magistrates of abandonment.
Failure is as predictable as the sunrise for us.
We wake too early and collapse in exhaustion far too late
throats parched from a troubling lack of liquid,
starving for affection
weathering a storm of withering looks,
floundering in this sea of troubles
with no strength in us to risk taking up arms against it
and by opposing, to be found wanting.
We croak and creak, like squeaky wheels,
with greasy faces and slicked back hair,
hoping someone might take us to the dance, twirl us amidst the persistent symphony of
Our breath catches in our throats with the hope that someone might sing to us,
but the sadness is stronger than ever,
and the makeup and masks cannot obscure our disfigurement for long.
And when the whispers ripple through crowds, announcing the arrival of our idols.
We turn, drinking in the vision of those with perfect plumage:
angelic doves, elegant swans, fierce hawks, transcendent starlings; the majestic wings and crowns donned by those whose beauty mocks us.
Seraphim pushing daggers in the hearts of gargoyles.
Retreating to nurse our wounds, we are left kissing each other's infections and climbing down cliff faces like neglected
Finding muddy puddles in the sorrow of ravines, bathing to bring a moment of sweet relief, however briefly.
Let Mother absorb our pollution
Our monstrous bones, jutting out,
our unnatural angles and injuries.
A Jacob's ladder of accidents and calamity.
Perhaps, one day, it can be us: 
Monsterbirds can gather, letting our blood
mingle when it boils, our skin pockmarked with scars and leaking boils.
We permeate the outskirts and sing our solitary songs at midnight,
the silvery light of the sympathetic moon mixing with our melancholy like a harmony,
We contemplate the shades of bruising on our bodies and the horror on the faces of those we desperately loved.
The sharp stones of the wilderness are like knives to the bottoms of our bare feet; they pierce our soles.
So, we find corners and depressions to ward off the winds and wrap our wings around us, nesting, letting time give us its gift of reprieve
alongside the reminders of everything we will never know
and the poison seeping from our pores, 
and finally, 
we collapse, and surrender ourselves to the stone.
We find peace like the Archeopteryx: fossilized.

Click here for other entries in the collection:
Mockingbirds Part 1
Mockingbirds Part 2
Mockingbirds Part 4

[Image Credit: Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.


3 thoughts on “Mockingbirds Collection, pt. 3

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