The Early Birds

At dawn they start again, the early birds,
as if they’d left some bitter things unsaid
the day before. The sharp notes rise in thirds.
I wake up knowing that I’ll soon be dead,

and that’s no worse than justice, as is just.
The kindest words are almost never meant.
Most fond endearments fill us with disgust.
To lie is sometimes all too eloquent;

but, as I stumble toward that unknown date,
even the lies may be inadequate.

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Never Tell People How Old They Look

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