the wingèd ones. Their songs,
the uplifting disturbance of the quiet dawn,
the insomniac’s cohort in the long night.
That exhilaration of larks reminding us
that speaking to life is everyone’s job.

Farther out,
the choir of angels.
Also two-legged, but taller
and robed in fabric
not feathers. Still, they sing,
don’t they?

Unhappily, the rest of us only fly
in steel rooms, two-wheeled, two-winged,
but cold, mercantile rather than ecstatic.
Separation from everything, exaggerated
by the pressure in the cabin. The fumes
of the long-extinct permeating the senses.

Oh, but sleeping—
ever so rarely,
that draft of silence
swooping over the land
will lift you up.
Your feet take leave
of gravity’s pull
and you hover there with them,
falling up and out
instead of down and in,
and the urge to sing bursts
from your once-grounded throat.

And then
there are those times
when singing itself …
when the angel and the lark …
when pure song …

—The title comes from a line in “Utterance” by W.S. Merwin (from The Rain in the Trees, 1988).

© 2015 KL Robyn

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