GO AWAY, GABRIEL
Aloft ... far off ...
in luminous dark and virgin timelessness,
I drifted ... dreamlessly suspended
upon the silver-threaded, variant song
of an invisible soloist who poured
his whole transcendent ecstasy of Being
into the delighted ears of God.
Erratic static rattled my receptors
into un-welcome consciousness
that the angelic voice
was only a mocking-bird, night-singing
outside the hospital wall ...
and the racket, a new room-mate yelling:
Shut up, you darn-fool bird,
and let me sleep!
Laughter strummed a pain beneath my ribs;
and a sardonic saxaphone of thought replied:
Oh, YES! If Gabriel himself shall choose
to sound his glorious trumpet in the night
instead of in the more convenient day,
some folks will yank the blankets up,
and plug their ears, and snarl:
Go away, Gabriel; and let me sleep!
And Gabriel, I think, will do just that;
and those whom mocking-birds-at-night annoy
will never wake to hear ... much less to be ...
angels, whose gladness penetrates
dumb fear, dense pain, dark loneliness,
to lift the spirit free of baneful bones,
out ... into boundless joy.
But Gabriel need not whistle twice for me
if he can lip such rapturous melody
as mocking-birds rain skyward in the night!
On such a song, I made my solo flight;
and I shall wake exultant in that hour
when joy, long practiced, is the power
on which I rise to immortality.