Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The cumuli reach to the noontime moon.
Nuthatch and warbler, starling and cowbird,
Fall like the famished on seed and suet.
Off their heads today, they trill and drone.

When I was a young man, how I would curse
The dullness inhabiting this place.
Now I hold my breath so it will not break.
I have the superstition of the hearse.

The finest sound is the phone not ringing.
The past is the only safe country.
I would plant a tent there if I could,
The immortal birds atop it, singing.

Every morning would begin the same,
The music at play inside the head,
Feeding the birds from the heart’s hollow,
Hastening off into God’s own daydream.

—Dan Sheehan