Why birds do you awake when that stagehand
Morning grasps rope to unfurl the land?
Have you not heard what the gremlin told me?
God bestows no reward for poetry.
Each sweet voice from its cage is doomed to fly,
A moth to live upon the night, and die.
Why, mockingbird you ask, am I awake?—
No harsher than one’s own advice to take.
Did I declare the ugly scamp’s word right?
Then I must banish even Truth from sight,
A boy exhaling into Winter’s air;
the joy—for a moment—it hanging there.
Byron Kai Bennett