After each big event,
each round of applause
for some great cause,
or what was Heaven-sent,

they scurry far back
under the stands,
pecking at big plans,
scratching into the cracks,

and cast deliberate shadows
with stubby wings
onto all good things,
while huddling from each blow

they’re sure will come. Humdrum,
as sighs and moans
dried chicken bones,
they bum

you down
from any height
to which you might
have flown.

Killjoy. Killjoy,
their evening call
of dash and spoil.
Killjoy. Killjoy.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 29 Number 7, on page 30
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