Morning Birds

by Jeffrey Essmann

By morning prayer, the sky still dark,
A paling slice of moon
A sigh surrenders at the thought
Of sunrise coming soon. 

And then a robin starts to trill
Somewhere across the street.
A simple pattern: two, three chirps, 
A pause, and then repeat.

As I approach the second psalm
And light begins to seep
Within the east, the sparrows start
To twitter and to peep.

As clouds go pink a God-knows-what
Throws in a startled whoop;
A blue jay tells the cawing crows
He’s loudest of the group.

And at the Easter antiphon
It strikes me that He heard
When first He rose that sabbath morn
An angel choir of birds.

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Dappled Things, the St. Austin ReviewThe Society of Classical PoetsAmethyst ReviewAgape ReviewAmerica MagazineU.S. Catholic, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, Edge of FaithPensive, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.

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