Courage Song for Scott Warren

Sing: no more makeshift crosses
In the gangplank desert,

No more “dogcatcher trucks,”
No more jawbones under the moon—

Bring your rebellious grit, 
Like a bromide or a borderland candle,

To our bigotry-is-commonplace republic’s 
Chaos. Bold anima, dissenting angel, 

Among the betraying cliffs and dry washes, 
The yellow plumes of the palo verde,

Be runagate Harriet in a midnight cane field
(General Tubman!), be Martin bravely writing

In an abysmal Birmingham jail.
Yes, your boundless shepherd’s gallantry, 

Your on-tap compassion 
Is the rescuing sip 

& the heaven-sent gourd required
At all our desperate crossings.

Copyright © 2022 by Cyrus Cassells. From The World That the Shooter Left Us (Four Way Books, 2022). Used with permission of the author.