A moment of five a.m. wakefulness later
they sound like grumpy nagging –
a city of mothers stuck sitting on eggs
or tending the little ones, beaks open,
asking asking, asking of her –
she asks, asks, asks papa bird
for just a little help please.
Bring us a worm, can’t you hear them?
Aah! I can’t do this myself!
Or maybe I’m just projecting –
my voice among thousands screaming at the dawn.
Until, done nursing, my baby rolls over,
and I may have another moment’s peace
Before my day begins
asking, asking, asking.