The mockingbird


It wasn’t quite a picnic, that April in the park.
We sipped our cigarettes and lay daydreaming on the lawn.
We talked of local gossip, of broccoli and queens,
of phalaenopsis strategies, of beauty and of brawn,

which book was best, whose ox was gored, how to sauté a spear,
Tuttankamen at the Met, the busboy at The Ranch,
when, in a random pause no wider than a wisp of smoke,
a mockingbird’s outlandish song came flying off a branch.

A gaudy cornucopia he spewed across the air;
its gush, its bald exuberance waylaid the funny bone.
Trills and squawks he rattled off, extravagantly long,
then stopped. Our smiles remained. The mockingbird was gone.