Today's poem is by Gerald Stern


You could either go back to the canary
or you could listen to Bach's unaccompanied Suites
for which, in both cases, you would have the same sofa,
and you will be provided with a zigzag quilt to sleep
under and a glass-top table and great fury,
for out of those three things music comes;
nor should you sleep if even the round muscles
below the neck fall loose from their stringy moorings
for you would miss a sob and you would miss
a melody a la red canary
and a la white as well and a la canary,
perched, as the cello was, on top of a wooden box
and a small musician perched on top of the cello
and every night a church full of wild canaries.

Copyright © 2011 Gerald Stern All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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