Jean Janicke


When your retinas are as speckled as a mockingbird egg, your brain fills in gaps with guesses. It
scans the side of the road for clues. Is that a person or a tree trunk? You guess at words from the
letter shapes, what stands tall or hangs low. Ungroomed acres become underground acres, a
cozier way to ski? “Evaluate your passion” was the header on what you can do about climate
change, “for many people work is their biggest investment.” Two things changed the nature of
work: a thermometer and a spiky virus. Now the question is how to make solar panels and
surgical masks closer to home. Now the question is whether the world wants 5000 coal jobs or
25,000 green collar jobs? Sometimes the mockingbird version reveals nature’s plan in the nest
behind the eyes. Let go of the speckles as the reason I can’t read aloud. The article said
“evaluate your pension” but maybe each speckle a window to a different future.

Jean Janicke is an economist, coach, and writer living in Washington, DC. Her work has been published in Green Ink Poetry, Paddler Press, and Honeyguide Literary Magazine.