Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

like a flock of brilliant birds and so
I wrote that poem he says and I say When

was it that you saw them and he says Four years
ago the day after they found that

missing girl’s body in the frozen field
over which I saw them floating and I just had this

feeling you know and I say Yes I know I saw them too
just yesterday all yellow and red and blue all

bunched together still like some small hand
had blossomed just a moment ago and set them free

they were headed north it was a sign to me of things to come
though the trees were all still bare armed

and so sorrowful there It would be nice
he says if we could all be like balloons Yes I say opening

out my hand it would be nice My name is Blue I add
My name is Red he says I search the sky

on the way back home but all around me is that
field there is no moon and the bone chill night is murderous black

like it must have been four years ago and yet somewhere
on the other side of the world it’s greening

spring and someone’s found little girl lets go a
flock of many colors into the bright beamed face of God

runs laughing open armed towards laughing opening arms and so
I write this poem Madonna And Child, Laughing for

Red and me the missing nameless all of us yes the
killers too because I just have this feeling you know if you ever see



[“Yes the Killers” first appeared in Illya’s Honey, Spring, 2015.]

Robert L. Dean, Jr.’s work has appeared in Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, River City Poetry, Heartland!, and the Wichita Broadsides Project. His haibun placed first at Poetry Rendezvous 2017. He has been selected as a reader at the 13th Annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival in April of 2018 at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. He has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. His poetry book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014) was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017) together with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016. His latest book, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) contains ekphrastic poems, inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels, that “resound and sometimes subvert expectations” (Tyler Robert Sheldon), that provide “a kaleidoscope of history, art, culture, the sacred and the everyday” (Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg).


Comments on: "Yes the Killers–by Robert L. Dean, Jr." (2)

  1. I like this a great deal, especially the syncopation that carries through the poem. It requires reading again and thinking over.

  2. Robert L. Dean, Jr. said:

    Thanks Diane. The entire poem is actually written in couplets, but I guess my photo got in the way of that at the poem’s beginning. Glad you like the syncopation.

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