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    brown wooden fence

    Poem: “Choir”

    By Margaret R. Ellsberg

    April 5, 2021

    The drowsing hour shuts its eyes, but
    slowly, so things fade to dark.
    Twilight’s dove-grey doors swing shut.
    You light a candle-lantern. The drowsing dog

    sits up from his shallow snooze to bark,
    once, at the pulse of waxen light. Across the lawn,
    the house sparrows sleep so hard,
    they might as well be dead till dawn.

    When the first wash of light overhead
    wakes the house sparrows again,
    they who slept like the dead, at dawn
    will begin to call, I’m up! And then

    from the eave, the branch, the yard,
    the opening beak of early day will alert
    whatever’s got a beating heart.
    The revenant hour starts its singing part.

    three house sparrows sitting on a brown wooden fence

    Photograph by Will Bolding

    Contributed By MargaretEllsberg Margaret R. Ellsberg

    Margaret “Peggy” Ellsberg (PhD, Harvard University) teaches English at Barnard College.

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