In the old dark the late dark the still deep shadow
   that had travelled silently along itself all night
while the small stars of spring were yet to be seen and the few
   lamps burned by themselves with no expectations
far down through the valley then suddenly the voice
   of the blackbird came believing in the habit
of the light until the torn shadows of the ridges
   that had gone out one behind the other into the darkness
began appearing again still asleep surfacing in their
   dream and the stars all at once were gone and instead the song
of the blackbird flashed through the unlit boughs and far
   out in the oaks a nightingale went on echoing
itself drawing out its own invisible starlight
   these voices were lifted here long long before the first
of our kind had come to be able to listen
   and with the faint light in the dew of the infant
leaves the goldfinches flew out from their nest in the brambles
   they had chosen all their colors for this day and they sang
of themselves which was what they had wakened to remember

This Issue

October 6, 1994