Birds of Twilight
Evening birds convene in old trees, plotting crimes.
In the twilight I can never actually see them,
Squawking ominously behind bruised leaves,
Only their coming and going.
All we ever know are voices and tones
Mom and dad fighting late at night
I never understood a word
Language beyond my grasp
Huddled on the last step of the staircase
Listening, beyond the clutch of their living room light
The scariest time is just after dusk
When the birds go silent.
You can’t tell what they’re up to
If they’re even still there.
Torn between an urge to keep quiet
So as not to disturb this tentative peace
And a gnawing longing
To scream: please come back
The morning remains a source of great relief
To this day I wake daily at dawn.
Just to hear the trees singing