You see what she does not see. You see through the snow an abandoned nest nestled in the heart of the thorny red barberry. Nowhere and everywhere in this town, all day, on the wires between luck and calamity, the mockingbirds echo-shadow: siren, horn, and the litany of other shit they hear. One day, you’ll know why but for now, step outside, no longer holding my hand - see past the voids and repetitions, past the cracked blue shells and blood orange yolk all on our stoops, all on our sidewalk. Regardless of the analysis your English teacher posits about mockingbird metaphors as she looks at you, warmly; regardless of how, in the a⋂b intersection of her wild venn diagrams, she writes “separation of children from their mothers” and looks at you - warmly, hide the nests and hold flat the water. See all the sheets. What did the president say? Notice how some teachers don’t notice the very room is breathing. You did not come here to teach her anything, nor did the mockingbirds. No one gives away the songs of their hearts. And you are not ornament inoffensive. Hear what is. Remember what you can see.
Ruth Irupé Sanabria, a 2018 CantoMundo fellow, has published two collections of poetry The Strange House Testifies and Beasts Behave in Foreign Land. Her poems also appear in What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism,