(Benoit Gauzere/Unsplash)

It is April, spring. The world’s oldest beginning.

My birds are at it, every moment new, again.
They go on, heralding, on, incessant.

What melody will they expand in the hour after this,
then noon, then the evening’s sure diminishing,

what notes do these folded beaks plan to release
next, from the horizon rounding my yard?

Here in New Orleans, this choir may be plotting
their departure, migration on North winds.

I share my morning coffee with these birds.
Such cacophonous first light improvisations!

New songs, my new arrangements? That could take weeks.
Why, then, do I sling-shot my birds with words?

It is April, spring. The world begins again.

Peter Cooley is Professor Emeritus of English and Director of Creative Writing at Tulane University where he taught from 1975 to 2018. His eleventh book of poetry, The One Certain Thing, was published by Carnegie Mellon in February. He is poetry editor of Christianity and Literature and was Louisiana Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017.

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Published in the April 2024 issue: View Contents
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