The red gate hangs ajar.
It grows large in its openness,
the crack a canyon through
the inspector’s thick monocle,
under a sky less beautiful
with each futile alarm.
We cry against the silhouette
mistaken for a weathercock,
after it twisted off the roof,
our youngest in its beak,
abducted from his very keep.
Mother pleads with a passing wren.
Her stocking feet age like copper
as they make crop circles
in our grassy courtyard.
She claims butterflies are
ransom notes; the gate’s wooden ribs
form a chest, split at the sternum,
where her accusations spill out.
Under reason’s stiff umbrella
I watch the proceedings
and wave as others float away
on a slipstream of martyrdom.
In the rain of crucifixes
our birds never cease to whistle.
J. R. Salling resides in central Ohio, where he buys and sells rare and collectable books.
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