What It Is I Have Missed

Between two and two-thirty AM,
And well before dawn...
I am awakened to hear,
Birds chirping with it prolonged.
I've begun to notice,
On certain mornings this goes on.

For them it may be at this time they have learned,
The earlier they arise they can catch those worms.
Although as far as I am concerned,
They need not perceive me as competition.
And why next to 'my' window...
I must be given their attention?

I don't wonder at all what it is I have missed.
While making attempts to fall back to sleep...
To acknowledge those birds will not allow me to do this.
And to yell at them makes no sense,
Since I know my neighbors will never be convinced...
What 'they' heard was my re-action to birds chirping.

'You startled me the other morning.
So very early it was.
Were you shouting at a burglar? '

No.
Some birds were getting on my nerves.
Have you noticed how loudly they chirp?
Between 2 an 2: 30 AM?

'Birds? '

Yes.
Chirping!

'You are willing to shock me to awaken,
From a peaceful sleep...
To shout at birds chirping? '

You've never heard them chirping before?
Like that?
And at that early time of the...morning?
Why do you have that look on your face?
I'm serious.

'I know.
We are living in some very stressful times.
I wish there was 'something'...
Something I could say to stop what's happening to you.
But...
I am at a loss.
Have you tried counseling.'

Look.
I've heard those birds...okay?

'Sure. Sure. No problem.
Do you own a gun?
Any concealed weapons?
Is there someone you want me to call?
Should I check on you later? '

You have a good day.
I know what I heard.

'I know.
We are living in some very stressful times.
I wish there was 'something'...
Something I could say to stop what's happening to you.
But...
I am at a loss.
Have you tried counseling.'

You have a GOOD DAY.
Okay?
And no...
I'm fine.
And when they come to 'your' window,
Don't come to me.

by Lawrence S. Pertillar

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