Nine Mile Falls Spokane WA
Nora Egger Artist
It’s a Sin to Kill a Mockingbird
(For Martina, sister of my flock)
Fractured light beckoning
through unhallowed glass windows
sends her fleeing to the river,
singing wheels a metronome for her soul,
marking mile after mile, hurt upon hurt.
Don’t they know it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird?
They can’t hear her song.
Muscles spent spirit spent
she collapses onto her meditation boulder
midway around the rushing snake and takes in hand
her most sacred scripture.
River rapids keep time
with sound-words tripping over sound-words
“Dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air…”
She lifts her eyes to the river and sees the falcon
wrestling with the wind and winning.
In that sacred, synchronous moment her song
reverberates through the canyon
and she knows that no matter what,
the mockingbird lives.
© rita h kowats 2015
I am indebted to Nora Egger for her gifted painting and her permission to use it here. Those of a “certain age” will be taken back to Macolm GA of the 1930’s in Haper Lee’s magnificent classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. It is a sin, says Atticus, because “mockingbirds do not harm people, but sing their hearts out for us.”
To Christ our Lord