“Hope is a Blue Jay” by Rebecca Johnson

As snow settles upon the land
and brings with it crisp, frozen air,
I’ll hear the cardinal’s jarring call
as it echoes in my anxious mind.

The cold and weary world reveals
that ancient injustice we call Fear;
bright ruby cuts a wound against
the bleeding emerald mistletoe.

In desperation, I think of my friend,
the sprightly, vibrant summer blue jay.
She fled the chill when it began

and took with her fermented breezes
of pleasant times brimming with joy
and soft reminders of flowering love.

I remember how she welcomed herself
into my garden so effortlessly.
Her onyx eyes so bright and crafty,
her well-timed hops meant to entice

my offering of seedling dreams yet to grow.
And then she took them to the sky;
she greeted pure and stunning Dawn
whose clouds warmly blushed with sweet delight.

With elegant aerial acrobatics
she danced the ballet of songbirds mid-bath,
dispelling dread to shimmering drops.

Lo, Fear became a captive wasp
tightly pierced within her talons;
she commands the lavender sky.

Hope is a sapphire silhouette
on exhibition for Life herself.
She spun and shivered, tugged at worms
deep-set, enticing for my famished soul.

I long for the days when she guided
my heart up high in the clouds where grief
cannot sting and terror cannot reign.
But she has left my home behind

and won’t return until the spring.
Here stays the cardinal in my yard
and sings her anxious songs of lore.

Anxiety is a cardinal,
but springtime Hope is a blue jay
and oh, how she knows it.

Now, season’s end, the sun returns
and warms the icicles and frost:
the snows are melting and I emerge
to see the blue jay once again.

She nests within the bushes of
desires and adulations
and I shower her in droplet diamonds
with peace and joy for my darling friend.

Now, listen to Hope’s gentle call,
familiar as your mother’s voice,
and hear her challenge echo through

the untamed forests of reveries
and tribulations to be explored:
Hear and rejoice in Hope’s triumphant song.

Rebecca Johnson is an emerging writer currently studying creative writing at the University of North Texas. Her poetry seeks to dissolve the stigma surrounding migraine and other chronic illnesses and offer those with unseen disabilities a chance to be heard.

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