The Sing Bird and The Stranger

by Joshua Riley

I know why the caged bird sings,
Because Maya Angelou sang me to sleep

Her sorrow-dripping song with its strange siren sympathy
Cooed me in my distress

Camus startled me awake,
The stranger prowled below my window sill
And wrestled me from sleep.

I looked at the ravening maw of deep
Disorder, he shouted meaningless
Meaningless and I thought I might
Laugh.

Here, Solomon stands as he looks at
The temple and the palace twice its
Size and knew that all is meaningless
Perhaps. Perhaps he knew what it meant with his infinite wisdom.
He wrote those words.
The fear of God before the knowledge of man
Left the rancid aftertaste of disappointment in his mouth.

I would give anything to hear that bird sing again.

There in my little room with a mass market paperback
In my hands, I laid there so long that my back started to hurt.
And I forgot my own pain for hers. I knew it was worth it.
There is meaning if only a bird would have landed on my window sill
And staved off the stranger creeping around in the yard.