Today's poem is by Judy Rowe Michaels

The Birds That Night

The birds that night were saying No
more than they had to,
they were saying No more, they
were saying no more than they had,
but still too much,
so the night's conductor
stopped it, scolding,
First bird, mark the slurs,
and for God's Sake, get their beaks
opening together. Listen
she said, if you can hear
yourse!f,you're too loud.

Night after night, they'd pretend
not to know the score, or not the same score,
which she knew by heart,
she just needed a good band
and rehearsal time ...
but every night a concert?

Conducting wasn't her first love, but now
she feels responsible for the night—
a sloppy cut-off, a tempo too brisk
for clean runs and—no one's fault
but hers, the score a communal story,
still, someone has to lead.
But they're prima donnas:
Each hears his own night
and can keep it up till dawn.

Copyright © 2015 Judy Rowe Michaels All rights reserved
from Ghost Notes
Finishing Line Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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