Mockingbird, Mockingbird

by Jerry Ratch


I remember when I first came to California, I heard a mockingbird sitting in a tree, calling out in the names of other birds. It was down in L.A. I was staying at my brother's house in San Gabriel and driving in every day to the campus at UCLA to go to school there.

Immediately, when I got to California, I inherited the sense of imitating those calls of the other, like that. It was the fall of 1963, in my sophomore year. That was the year that Jack Kennedy was killed in Dallas. The year that I was dumped by my first love. And that was the year that I began to write.

Mockingbird, mockingbird, who are you calling? Is it me? Is it me? Is it me?