A blackbird alone in the dying sun’s footlights
sings to a backdrop of indigo blue;
for the sound of its voice, for the sake of the singing,
it plays out the longest day of the year.
Perched on the rooftop, stop-out blackbird,
late home, carousing, careless of time,
emptying its throat till its heart is empty,
scattering the tune like stars in the street;
unnoticed by drivers cocooned in their vehicles,
by comfortable viewers with volume turned up:
only the walkers of dark hear this singing –
the carolling bird in summer’s midnight.
©Virginia Rounding, 1993
First published in Poetry Nottingham International, Autumn 1995
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