blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1


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Sweet Transmigrations

of the soul in Terrell County
swamplit matin and deer call. 

In ’39, Otis Redding’s born
here to die in a Cessna
over a far northern field.

I want you to come back
come back I’ve had enough.
What offerings

to the dead, a wreath
for the ones born mewing
music, for my father

camouflaged in the field,
rifle across his knees,
reading a paperback life

of Bonhoeffer, who returned
to Germany knowing
he’d kill the dictator

or be killed. Soul of bullet
smoke, the faltering engines.
Back in our city of wells,

water runs under bare groves.
No one’s as lonely as my father
as he lets the gun go

and falls asleep. At least
one living thing is spared.
Redding calls out

from beyond—
these arms of mine  are yearning.
if you would  

let them     hold you  

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