The realist crows return
at earliest morning.
And the madman with broom,

madman in his nightshirt
with a broom, he too returns.
He thinks to roust the crows

from the mulberry boughs
by jabbing and swirling his broom,
by crazily twirling his broom

in the wet summer air
and hurling curses skyward
beyond the boughs and the crows

towards the fading gods among the fading stars.
But the realist crows know
it is only a man

in a nightshirt after dawn,
that the broom is a broom
and that his cries are nothing more

than words and half-words
the heavy air will swallow.
They rise anyway from the tree

as best to quiet him
and let morning be morning.
Soon enough they’ll return again

by twos and threes, settling among
the spreading limbs, their laughter the same
before and after.