A response to Buddy Wakefield’s Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action)
“It’s just I coulda swore you had sung me a love song back there
and that you meant it
but I guess sometimes people just chew with their mouth open”
I pray each day that I won’t think
of your arms when they held me
or when we heard the light that sang low and felt like a high.
I break my back each step without you
like your eyes that would crush my heart with a gaze
and that would enjoy the music they heard in the break.
Well I, for one, find it funny
once two were one now one are two
and all I see is how I felt holding onto you.
But was it you onto whom I held?
Or was it the idea that our harmony was perfect
when in truth discord was our melody?
If he’s right and we were made in the image of God,
then when God was a little girl she was plagued by the person who hurt her
and she would be set free by a boy who made her feel like a melody.
Like her song was beauty and like her notes were whole
unbroken into halves, quarters, and eighths.
But when he left she refracted back to the light they heard and
soon all her notes were sixteenths and discordant.
And it was beautiful. . .
until it wasn’t.
so now it’s time to let you go
and life is funny because I still don’t want to.
I hear the music in its beauty because I love jazz
and jazz loves discord.
But you never loved jazz or the music that I saw because
you knew that the melody could only sound good for so long before we
And died like the leaves that hate winter
now I hate the winter too
because in winter time I think of you
and I’m sorry because it’s taken me too long to get to this point
or to any point at all.
But God gave us grace for a reason
because when God was a little girl she knew
that love knocked on more than one door in a life time
and that trumpets could bring sound to her eyes more than once.
I’m sorry that the past fucked me up and I let it get to me
but my life without She brought me a truly violent symphony.
I clawed out my ears so I couldn’t hear the music that I saw
when you left me.
The music I hear now tells me that I loved you but
I spent too long waiting for my heart to breathe again in your absence
so I have to say goodbye to you because I know now
that that’s the gracious thing to do.
I pray each day that you’ll see my eyes in your dreams
so you know that when God was a little girl she was a little girl like me.
Maybe I was too broken for you but I apologize that it’s taken me this long
to see that maybe you were just too whole for me
who likes whole notes anyway?
God spoke to me and said
that she’d take sixteenths over wholes any day.
I wrote “An Apology Letter to the Both of Us” in response to Buddy Wakefield’s Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action) after hearing a classmate’s paper on said poem. I left class that day thoroughly inspired; I do not usually write poetry, yet when I sat down to write on my Buddy Wakefield experience, this poem seemed to flow out of me. “An Apology Letter. . .” is a personal poem because it is written to an individual from my own life. These words have now finally taken shape after needing voice for a long time. The class in which I heard the Buddy Wakefield piece was entitled Religious Relationships, and I find that there is a religious experience when entering or departing a romantic relationship. As a Christian person, I do not encounter a feminized God very often. Much of my belief centers around the fact that God goes through what we go through with us. In Buddy Wakefield’s poem he speaks of God being a little boy, but for me, God would not have been a little boy – rather, a little girl. So, God takes shape living life through and with me in this poem, a very messy but exciting religious relationship.
Maria Guido is a sophomore working within an individualized major program, Nonprofit Management for the Religious Sector.