I listen to birds call outside,
a few cars gun their motors on the trail.
Inside, the muse is silent.
I have not walked enough, not paused enough,
not held my tongue.
For too many hours of the day, I have pushed words onto paper,
forced them to step up to the plate,
toe the line, shape up.
Instead of letting them circle round,
sit still, lift off, rise.
I stand in the shadows, watch a curtain lift and let go.
A child calls to a friend across the street,
“Come here! Now. I need you!”