Poetry Daily: http://www.poems.com/

jim crow stole my father's wings

that cat was a straight arrow, flying like he'd been shot
true from a sturdy bow, in a steady parallel to earth. scot

free : his tail all feathers, his high all feet. he kept a cloud
in his pocket, the wind's whistle between his teeth. proud

of his hours, his ratings, his license to skill, he took off
after a uniform and a jet. but a foul thing, packing a roof

and crawling in his wake, fused its (b)lack to his (f)light :
an arbitrary shadow screwed to his heels, waited his float

with gross ballast, dragged him down when gravity'd failed.
he held on to the whistle, sent it soaring up from the soil.

            after eduardo corral

Evie Shockley

Wesleyan University Press

To view this poem online, visit the Poetry Daily archive at http://www.poems.com/archive.php
View a large-print version of this poem