the nightingales are sobbing in the orchards of our mothers
and hearts that we broke long ago have long been breaking others
—W. H. Auden

Turn it over in the dirt,
love that could have grown so bright,
(all the griefs we come to choose
seem so equal in the night),
the wind’s cold air and earth below
only shadows of the seeds we sow.

Who lives in chaos like the birds
would rather fly than sleep,
would listen to our jumbled words
and gently slowly softly weep;
he who watches over
the neither mad nor deep,

Over songs we struggle
to transcend,
over wrongs we somehow
never mend—
let them drop away from you
as birds have other things to do.

August 22nd, 2011
April 24th, 2012