Margaret Chula


                                            Then and Just After

                                             Crying for what
                                             as we stand out
                                             in the summer rain
                                             this blackbird and I
                                             drenched in longing

                                             Blackbird in shadow
                                             blackbird in the morning light
                                             whether to look at
                                             its red wing or black feathers
                                             with you, or without you

                                             Deep autumn
                                             the song of the blackbird
                                             is swallowed by the river
                                             Memory of love grows dimmer
                                             as leaves brighten and fall

                                             And now in winter
                                             with hailstones against the window
                                             I hear it again―
                                             the cry of the blackbird
                                             then, and just after

                         Inspired by Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.

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