Self-proclaimed high kings on thrones–
perched cardinals singing in palindromes
I hear Uncle’s whistles through the thistles;
the backyard is overgrown

I am all alone, no nest, no home,
a peasant pheasant by the fountain of tears;
Uncle is gone, has been for years,
so the whistling wails are my own

Fly away, you crimson wraiths!
Back to Sky Woman, leave me with my faith
that there exists, indeed, a happier place;
wings whisper and steal the salt from my face

With open eyes and palms to the ground,
I pray, look up, and lay my tobacco down;
one bird remains, guiding me without a sound
wearing Uncle’s smile and a snow white crown


© Jennifer Patino (2018)

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