This Bird

Have you heard, have you heard,

Of this feather-shedding bird,

The eagle, our freedom, our country, our cause?

It’s sick, it is, sick as a dog,

With dried up eyes and ears and tongues for laws.

It’s veins bulge blue and the blood runs red,

And the bruises turn black before purple,

Not a violet, lilac, or orchid to be seen, heard, or said.


Have you heard, have you heard,

Of this cold and shivering bird,

Whose skin is raw and bare?

Once upon a time, we could have blanketed it in stars and stripes,

But now the mule and the elephant, without a care,

Tore it in tatters so that the stripes weave,

Separate, like snakes shedding their muscles as well,

From the stars, who now have dulled points; they leave.


Have you heard, have you heard,

Of this lonely and divided bird,

Whose right left wing holds guns and chains for the white man?

White as a lie, or maybe orange as his façade,

This whistle-no, this trumpet-blower has a plan,

For the women, the children, and all the non-whites,

Building walls between countries, families,

People, and their rights.



Have you heard, have you heard,

Of this vanishing bird,

Whose left wing but right brain holds the toy torch of Ishtar?

It seems to shed light on all colors, genders, and sexualities,

But shades laughter and speech when the shadows reach too far.

Over the hill and through the river: that’s just how life is,

But it’s painted dark with corruption and hypocrisy,

Until the whole thing is just a void “of his.”


Have I heard, have I heard?

I have heard of this feather-shedding bird.

It’s worn down to a chalk-dusty and tape-straight outline,

Where the body is half the size of what it was,

And, in these eyes of mine,

An even smaller fraction of what it could’ve been,

Smaller than what it could’ve made itself,

Smaller even after the dissonance dies with the pen.

This poem is about: 
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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