The Early Bird

Still dark, and raining hard
on a cold May morning

and yet the early bird
is out there chirping,

chirping its sweet-sour
wooden-pulley notes,

pleased, it would seem,
to be given work,

hauling the heavy
bucket of dawn

up from the darkness,
note over note,

and letting us drink.

Metaphors are mortal. Most die silently, decay, and are forgotten. Others become fossils; such are the ones we call dead. We find them sometimes in cookies. Frequently, they attend meetings. The news of their death is reported almost daily in the pages of editorials and opinion magazines. Often, if we have nothing to say, we say them ourselves. Or we tell them to children, especially those in kindergarten, we wish to bore to sleep.

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