by Ed Gold
We asked the red bottle-brushes blooming off the back porch,
we asked the woman who was singing and writing parking tickets,
we asked the colossal white blossoms of the magnolia tree,
we asked the cashier named Wilnetta at the Harris Teeter,
we asked the cedar waxwings swarming the holly berries,
we asked the new baby, Helena Wren Silverman,
we asked the hailstones striking west of the Ashley,
we asked the oil truck that overturned and blocked I-26,
we asked the helicopter circling the neighborhood,
we asked the couple holding hands under a maroon umbrella,
we asked the two mourning doves sitting close on the wire,
we asked the cardinal who placed a millet seed in his mate’s mouth,
we asked the aviator sunglasses forgotten on the porch table,
we asked the smudgy smoke of the citronella candle,
we asked the blue flowers on the Kleenex box,
we asked the juice glass with a decal from a moose hall,
we asked the first brown clutch of leaves in the green of the pin oak,
we asked the empty hammock on the porch next door,
we asked the crow we thought was an eagle until he cawed,
we asked the green anole who hopped on a branch and turned brown,
we asked the hawks whose chick refused to leave the nest,
we asked the loquat tree that didn’t blossom and fruit this year,
we asked the mutant sunflowers sprouting under the bird feeders,
we asked our neighbor whose throat is healing from radiation,
we asked the house finch on the sconce with his eye crusted over,
we asked the little boy who played dead under the pew,
we asked the mockingbird who sang for five minutes before starting over.
Author’s note: This is a poem I wrote after the massacre at the Emanuel AME church. We live three blocks away.
Ed Gold has a chapbook Owl and poems in the New York Quarterly, Kakalak, Cyclamens and Swords, Poet Lore, Gargoyle, and many others. He is a grateful member of the Long Table Poets in Charleston, South Carolina. Ed Gold lives in Charleston with his wife Amy Robinson.
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