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Morning Song.

Morning Song

 I'm up early listening to the hidden birds,
 Their choir of trills and riffs, and it's as if the trees
 Were singing, the branches tossing up and down
 Like a diva's arms, when in fact, it's the birds,
 Concealed among the green needles
 Or flat yellowish leaves, puppeteers
 Crouched behind a tapestry, animating
 The blue auditorium of morning.

 Above us, the mountains, a cut road
 Like a child's colorless ribbon, winding away
 Into a dream she will wake from and struggle
 To remember, until her trance is broken
 By birdsong--this life calling to her
 From the small mouths of the trees.

 This morning begins almost purely, coffee
 Enveloped in cream, those clouds that bloom up
 Like madness in a cup, and I take the first swallow
 Before the color changes, taste the bitterness
 And the faint sweet behind it, steam
 Rubbing my nose, an animal nuzzle,
 And the sharp, nearly painful heat
 At the back of my tongue, the liquid
 Unraveling down the raw tunnel of my throat.

 And I feel my body fully, vessel of desire,
 My stomach a pond of want and warmth,
 Utterly human, divine and awake. And I can hear
 Each bird's separate song, the chirr and scree,
 The sip, sip, sip, the dwindle and uplift yearning,
 The soups on, soups on, let up, let it go
 Of each individual voice, and I know I am here,
 In this widening light, as we all are, with them,
 Even the most damaged among us or lonely
 Or nearly dead, and that for each of us there is
 Some small sound like an unseen bird or
 A red bike grinding along the gravel path
 That could wake us, and take us home.

 And though I know this momentary settling
 Into the world of things doesn't change the past
 Or muffle the true cries or the cruelty, give the man
 Who lost his daughter back, the daughter
 Her full abandonment, can't mend the cold
 Nickel-sized hole in her heart, though I know
 It can't suffice, that the suffering goes on--

 That other music--a thin wing of ... a film of ...

 There was breeze light as gauze
 Along the inside of my arm last night
 That turned, for a moment, suddenly warm,
 Almost tropic, and raised hairs I could hardly see.

 This morning I think I'm prepared for death,
 That final diminishment, with something
 Like a waking, ready awe. My complaints
 Folded and put away like needlework--
 Scant embroidery, scribbles, a sketch, the blue
 Knots and dropped stitches--in a drawer,
 Unfinished, intricate woven roads that go
 Nowhere or disappear in the distance, rough
 Wanderings that have brought me here, to this
 Sleep-repaired morning, these singing trees
 And into my own listening body.


DORIANNE LAUX is the author of three collections of poetry from BOA Editions, Awake (1990), What We Carry (1994), and Smoke (2000). Among her awards are a Pushcart Prize for poetry, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Laux works for the University of Oregon's Creative Writing Program.
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Title Annotation:four poems
Author:Laux, Dorianne
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Words:507
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