Reader Poem — Micki Blenkush

Micki Blenkush wrote this poem in response to the December Poetry Prompts:

Engine Red

When the Master who cast us
tires of our absurd stage
will directions come forth
beyond the signs foretold?
Not just the seven horseman
or the white buffalo calf
but actual words written on beasts.
Skunks with caution striped
across their backs or fish with listen
stitched in their scales.

Any language can already predict
propaganda past meaning
even as wolves and panthers arrive
with grief spelled down their sides.
In simple English we’ll call it luck
each time there’s a storm
and all we have to worry about
is what to eat first
when the power goes out.
No one yet at our door
with a machine gun
tells us how to believe.

This is the red of emergency.
Of persons stalled in the turn lane
unsure what to do for the sirens.
This is the color of a woodpecker’s head
persisting along the eaves
despite my banging at windows
and inspecting for holes.
This is the hue of a grandmother’s grief
when she wept my name.
I never heard that color before,
but wanted to move everything back
to let it pass through.


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