Terminal Opera

By on May 30, 2011 in Contest Winners

Mockingbird superimposed over Amazing Grace lyrics

I watched a mockingbird die this morning,
With factory smoke and runway to backdrop her exit.
Having banged her skull soundlessly against
the thick window, she fell on her back.
“Oh, no.” I heard myself say.
The scaffold of weightless skeleton descended
to graceful slow-motion.  Feet lost their hold and sank;
seed-eyes emptied, tailfeathers froze
straight to blank, blue sky. Out.
The man who heard me, looked.
“Oh that.” He said,
turning back to take an obliging picture
for a mother nearby whose little boy
did not notice the body on the ledge
as he pressed his nose toward the planes
rolling in and his grandmother hummed
“Amazing Grace” over her People.


This poem placed third in the 2009 Wild Violet Poetry Contest.

2009 Contest Winners  

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Finley Ballard Evans was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama. Her poetry most recently appeared in Louisville Review and The New Renaissance.

One Comment

  1. This poem is heartbreakingly beautiful.