A headless songbird toils to sing,
Mourns the gusts he might have flown.
Forlorn to a ravaged wing,
Below a sky he’s since outgrown.
His aches confirm he’s gotten old,
And can’t return what he now owns.
Waning outside in the cold,
His feathers gently twirl to bones.
Assist I would this withered bird,
Yet here I laze as if a stone.
Near my windowpane alone,
To this bird my eyes are sown.
But of this bird that croons defeat,
I cannot say my heart is thrown.
Instead I long to stalk him greet,
The fate he briskly will be shown.
I’ve seen other birds before,
Many kinds these winds have blown.
But of all the songs I’ve heard,
This bird’s song I hadn’t known.
Now he’s spent and what has wrought,
Is a thought ‘round twice a year.
But where this bird once bravely fought,
The tale I vow shall be told near.
Written By Brandon Loran Maxwell
Brandon Loran Maxwell is a writer, speaker, and prize winning essayist. His writings and commentary have appeared at The Hill, Salon, Townhall, The Washington Examiner, The Oregonian, FEE, and Latino Rebels Radio, among others. He regularly speaks on a variety of social topics, and has been cited at outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, Vox, and The Washington Post. His personal essay “Notes From An American Prisoner” was awarded a Writer’s Digest prize in 2014, and his one-act play “Petal By Petal” about drug and alcohol addiction was performed at The Little Theater in 2009. In addition, Brandon has fronted various punk rock and hip hop groups. He holds a B.S. in political science, and often writes about prison reform, immigration reform, pop culture, music, and Chicano culture.