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More poems by Elizabeth BishopElizabeth Bishop | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Elizabeth BishopBooks by Elizabeth Bishop

Five Flights Up

Elizabeth Bishop

Still dark.
The unknown bird sits on his usual branch.
The little dog next door barks in his sleep
inquiringly, just once.
Perhaps in his sleep, too, the bird inquires
once or twice, quavering.
Questions--if that is what they are--
answered directly, simply,
by day itself.

Enormous morning, ponderous, meticulous;
gray light streaking each bare branch,
each single twig, along one side,
making another tree, of glassy veins...
The bird still sits there. Now he seems to yawn.

The little black dog runs in his yard.
His owner's voice arises, stern,
"You ought to be ashamed!"
What has he done?
He bounces cheerfully up and down;
he rushes in circles in the fallen leaves.

Obviously, he has no sense of shame.
He and the bird know everything is answered,
all taken care of,
no need to ask again.
--Yesterday brought to today so lightly!
(A yesterday I find almost impossible to lift.) 

Added: 19 Aug 2001 | Last Read: 21 Nov 2017 3:09 AM | Viewed: 15065 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/49/ | Viewed on 21 November 2017.
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