The mockingbird is doing the car
alarm in full shrill, so hard
on my ears I cover them.
Then it does my dog who died
two years ago, my life
a steep slope down since then.
The bird knows all the begs and barks
in proper order. When I start
to cry it does too, but louder.
It imitates the sound I make
when I’m sorry so perfectly
I fall deep in my recliner.
It teaches me something I didn’t know:
how pitiful I sound, how low.
Wyn Cooper is the author of four collections of poetry: Chaos Is the New Calm (2010), Postcards from the Interior (2005), The Way Back (2000), and The Country of Here Below (1987). His poems appear in twenty-five anthologies of contemporary poetry. He has taught at Bennington and Marlboro Colleges, the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, the University of Utah, and the Frost Place. For ten years he was a principal organizer of the Brattleboro Literary Festival in Vermont. He has written songs with Sheryl Crow, David Broza, Jody Redhage, and David Baerwald. His second CD with Madison Smartt Bell, Postcards Out of the Blue, was released in 2008. Their songs can be heard on six television shows. He lives in Vermont and most recently worked for the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, a think tank run by the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. He works as a poetry manuscript editor for established and novice poets; more information is on the editing page of his website, www.wyncooper.com. (updated 8/2012)
Extra-credit trivia for fans of Wyn’s poetry: having come across The Country of Here Below in a used bookstore, Sheryl Crow used his poem “Fun” as the basis for her smash hit “All I Wanna Do.”