Blackbird Looming

By Ashton Vaughn

Who turns the hands of the clock,

fastidious and careful, over

and over again and again?

Who animates the chipmunk

that gently lifts himself out of the earth,

and once, twice, snaps his head to the sky

to peer at the sun he has forgotten?

What is it that moves in the wren

to urge her to sing—

what is it that calls forth the blackbirds,

year after year,

to flood the skies in raven waves

and leave the muddled face of Death

burnished like a sigil in our thought?

I know not why when the music begins

my feet turn to dancing and my voice to song,

but I do know there is something

lively and wild and wonderful

coursing through each life, each body,

and that every time I give myself over to it

I can once again feel the sun shining upon my face.

When the raven waves arrive,

and the song of the wren is diminished,

I think I shall be waiting,

not sitting—but dancing and singing,

ready to greet them with whatever song the Earth may have of me.

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