The locust choir at midnight ends rehearsal
when the night larks begin to bustle ’round;
and even the great roaches find dispersal
preferable when mockingbirds abound.
And so, at half past twelve, I sit in darkness,
not worried over creeping, crawling things,
smoking a cigarette in peace, just listening
to each new voice, the melody it sings.
Some have their own, unique strain; others chorus,
their piping a fugue’s counterpoint. At times,
it seems as though a symphony’s before us —
and then, just silence, or one trill; sublime.
Perhaps they’re nightly concerts, not just practice,
but each new hour seems different than before;
and yet, once they begin, the night relaxes
as if it waits to request an encore.
There at the pit’s dimmed edge, I sense some maestro,
in silence, draped in black just out of view,
with such command of these winged virtuosos
that they need not a single sign, or cue.
Tonight I sat and listened for just minutes,
for it was late, and I needed my bed;
again, the song was sweet, and buried in it
were echoes of the dreams here in my head.
13 May 2005