“Break of Day,” by Shelly L. Hall

Break of Day

Not the rainbow rooster,
but the midnight-feathered crows
crack the sky back,
split the dark like an egg
with their beaks, gaping and

loud.
And that’s why
we call it the break of day,
though it’s more like many
many doors wrenched open
on tight, dry hinges.

Listen
to them gather the last
of night in, strike it
across their beaks, unafraid
of the sparks that snuggle under
their tongues.

Perhaps
they’re signaling the sun,
perhaps they’re calling the secret
nicknames of passing souls,

perhaps they really do know
why one by one they rise
from the slowly igniting branches
a ponderous grace of flight
moving every direction but east.

—Shelly L. Hall (from Alum)

Photo by Daveybot

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