Our last canary rocks in his swing this morning,
singing merrily to the sky beyond the window
as if it were an old friend returned from night travels
to shower him with shining gifts of light.
The sudden death of his parakeet companion
no longer weighs so heavily on his heart.
He watched, stricken, as the dying bird
flew out of his body, through the cage bars,
and into a shimmering pool of light, vanishing.
There was no question, simply shock, then grief.
We might not be able to really grasp that kind of grief.
No, we tend to add some belief to our sorrow,
but the canary lives in a world unburdened
by any afterthought, and so its grief is total
and complete, like the utter darkness
of a clouded sky at midnight.
Today that sorrow is forgotten, that heart-piercing,
and so he rocks in his swing, and he sings, because
that is what he came here to do, before any grief,
and after — just to sing.