The Backward Look

by Dónall Dempsey

for D.B.

The blackbird
leaves me a note

to the sky

that blue
beyond blue

the tide
of the moment

turning turning.

Time like apple blossom
falling through my mind

the little boy
unable to believe

that this day
is not

made of forever
and only now

I walk back
through my self

to unpin the note
the blackbird wrote

with his voice
still pinned

to that
self same sky.

The blue so still
beyond even its self.

I, at last, able
to read the birds words

its language a secret
no longer to me

“I sing . . . ” it says “ . . . I sing!”

“Because all this
must die!”

“I sing the moment’s tide
its turning always turning!”

It’s throat
full of song

glorying in being

for this

one eternal