The Little Birds Keep Singing

Sep 27, 2019

Today’s poem is “The Little Birds Keep Singing” by Martin Steingesser. Martin is the author of three books of poems, Yellow Horses, Brothers of Morning, and The Thinking Heart: the Life & Loves of Etty Hillesum

He writes: “The real inspiration…was a growing sense of analogy between the deepening path into the woods, the darkening of light of a possible storm and how I am approaching, nearing an end, along this journey we call Life."

The Little Birds Keep Singing
by Martin Steingesser

When the sky grows suddenly dark 
before rain—maybe
a thunderstorm,

the path I am on
through the woods
grows darker.
Earlier, before losing myself

as I do
going my own way
into the woods, I stopped
to watch some kids,

Little Leaguers starting
a game. I was surprised
the pitcher
really had a fastball

and could burn it
over the plate. Strike!
the ump would call
more than once.

Lilliputian batters
nonetheless are belting
his pitches—
line drives,

long fly balls,
sending outfielders running, all of them playing hardball.

On my path, the wind
had picked up
some urgency
among the trees,

a heavy scent—
new growth, or something
old from under
last summer’s leaves.

Poem copyright © 2019 by Martin Steingesser.