By Laurie Klein
Dear night-shifters, we robins
get it. And yet . . . we exult:
we get rowdy as dawn silhouettes
emerge, by degrees—evergreens,
silos and spires, high-rise towers
eclipsing cutouts of brightening
sky. We are your soundtrack. Maybe
you’re counting down minutes;
perhaps you yawn as you dress, accepting
again, daybreak’s pilgrimage, seemingly
unsung, complete with lanyard and badge.
Guten tag, keen-eyed hunters, and fishers,
baiting your hooks; G’day, human anchors
rehearsing the news. People of prayer
and praise: we relate! Bongiorno, officers
heeding the call, in the name of the siren.
Dear drivers and EMTS, un-applauded,
we also refuel, repair, deliver. Yo, truckers,
and dolers of donuts; Ho, fry cooks firing up
short-order altars. Dairy folk, too, and
nursing mothers: Bonjour. Shelf stockers, janitors,
medical peeps—who provision and clean and
cure—keep making your rounds, while
priests of the ether and thumb scrollers
commandeer coffeeshop tables, checking
the social pulse. Call on us now, by nature
improbable angels keeping time,
as we call on you: cousins of rapture,
keeping the faith, Hola. Alo. Hello.
Laurie Klein is the author of Where the Sky Opens and Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh. A grateful recipient of the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred, she lives in the Pacific Northwest and blogs, monthly, at lauriekleinscribe.com.
Laurie's other work on Foreshadow:
Private, as the Small of a Back (Poetry, October 2023)