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