He has returned to the garden to boycott our poverty
ignore the embargo, and sleep through the war.
No one knows why. Perhaps he loves the trees
we had meant to cut, though never did, or the company
of crows and cackling magpies, the doves and cats,
or simply children, the pool sprung from the cracked drain?
Perhaps he loves us, “lords of the manor” … not likely, not since
a neighbor, who never slept “for all the goddamned singing,”
tried to run him off. Now he’s silent. He’s found
a mate, returned to an invisible nest.
What’s happened to us? The songbird’s
clueless. No concern.
Nor his concern ours … for over a year we never
noticed his absence (as our absence will go unnoticed).
Now we remember because of song
disturbing our sleep, this constant unease.
May such song spill among this modest poem
and next year find us, here, at home
with the new lords of the manor, absent,
a new song pouring forth, as if nothing
could happen, or would. Our neighbors, falling
toward sleep, burrowing under, futures only oblivion.