The Irony of the Dark Continent
I want to know the names of all
whose cries float through the burglar bars,
the open windows after sundown.
Missing the noises of home,
their unfamiliar voices weave a night-song
in a rhythm different than my own;
whoever arranged this nocturnal calling-out
of crickets mixed with raccoon chatter,
or the over-full throats of bullfrogs
breaking the heat, boastfully
beneath a July moon.
There-something like a cuckoo
laid down over a rustling too big for an opossum,
and silence, in all the wrong places.
Slow-dancing is out of the question.
This sallow night on a hill
above a city I do not love
holds me back, locks me out,
even as I am locked in.
Even from the forgiving darkness,
even from the night.
2003 Sue Miller