Birds at Night

Stories tell us of the soldier who looks up from the trenches,
Towards the dark skies in search of birdsong,
For a creature that will herald the new dawn;
That soldier isn’t me.

I hate the sound of birds during the night.

Thousands of years of cultural associations tell me that I should welcome the light,
That the birdsong is a sweet reminder of the day.

Stories tell us that the dark is full of horrors,
That at night we feel fear, and in the day we feel joy.

How, then, is the light my enemy?

When I see the light staining the horizon,
I feel the world I don’t want to face encroaching on my sanctuary.
When I see sun polluting the atmosphere,
I see a world I’m expected to frolic in.

People, speech, heat, loud noises, colours, false smiles, concentration, thinking, holding my head upright, faking emotions –
It’s too much.

I long to slip into white noise,
Into the cool promise of retreat and solitude,
The dark waters of my cocoon.

I live out of synch: my season is Winter, my time is night,
What brings others joy antagonises me.

Darkness isn’t inherently terrifying –
It depends on what you fear.

Those birds at night taunt me, mock me, ridicule me,
They try to colonise my domain, ruin the perfect silence.

Why are you singing?
Why won’t you sleep?