• Jennifer Barnick

Four Poems by Jennifer Barnick


God did Crown a Sparrow

Now if the Queen of England (Dear Beloved Elizabeth II)

if she passed the lights and glint

into a death parade I think I would

weep as if motherhood had gone.

Now if the Queen of England (Dear Beloved Elizabeth II)

softly fell amongst her corgis and television

nothing really left but a coat made of body

I would have a hard time listening.

Now if the Queen of England (Dear Beloved Elizabeth II)

slumped in her bed over a book given to her

and a pure crying maid touched her cold knuckle

Presidents would seem emptier than they already are.

Now if the Queen of England (Dear Beloved Elizabeth II)

entered heaven finally crownless; at last crownless

a more profound modesty would shine down;

in stunned misery, I would have to look everywhere.

Lessons Learned While Walking In My Neighborhood

I tried to write a poem

about how bad-ass super spiritual

I was.

But I came to see

that the young, small she-hawk

chasing the crow today

was more lovely than

I’ll ever be.

Then it came to me to write the clouds,

the black wings of the running crow,

and the rudder tail

of that

young hawk.

And this bird logic

had a kind of bliss and a kind

of warning:

never write a poem

asking of man

more than what you indeed

can accomplish—

So, see, love, as if drunk

the heart-wrenching beauty

of a young she-hawk

chasing a crow.

On Trying to Remember Names

Gail Gail

Nightingale

middle name

Elizabeth.

Suzanne

like the other Suzanne

(her husband)

David

like son of Jesse.

Lee

Who has worn

many hats.

Valerie,

pretty like

Valerie Bertinelli

middle name: Anne.

John Joseph Moss.

I first said Ross,

but he corrected me.

He rose all ten of his fingers

then wiggled them

and said, Moss, you know

like green moss?

I used to remember how much money

a person is worth in precious metals

like gold and copper;

if you were to melt someone down.

I once watched a documentary

about medical students in Iraq;

one of the students said he

was at a market when a

bomb went off.

He said he looked up

and saw a large intestine

hanging from a telephone wire.

Gail Gail

Nightingale

middle name

Elizabeth.

Lee

who has worn

many hats.

Truth

Everybody loves Dave Brown

except for Rachel Lindenbaum.