Lesson behind the leaf-curtain
Closed now the school, where each day nightingales
rehearse songs of which only an awakening love
will later teach them mastery.
The birds are trapped behind a slanting needle grating,
their wings folded against the rain.
The drops glisten, hit the foliage and earth in icy stabs
or trickle down the window, hour by hour.
The drops strike the roof-top, colouring the notes
that sing within, behind the temples -
the hours all wound; the last is deadly.