You rise with me in the predawn
sky so gray that the rooftops barely
etch the clouds, moon just slipping
into the cedar ridge and yet you rise

with first song, a trilling medley of
everything you know and I wonder if
you choose or simply sing, the spill
of notes some benediction for the day.

What stirs you in the still dark to come
and dance the ridge pole, to pour out
every bird from one throat? Do you call
them, an awakening cockerel when

there is none to shatter the dawn and
start the day? There is nothing to do now
but await first light, that time of day between
moon set and sun’s rise, but you fill the space

and pose cascading possibilities, now robin,
now dickcissel, chickadee, cardinal and countless
others you’ve imagined as you chant.
To you then, herald of the morning, hear, hear.