Martin Willitts Jr.

BEFORE THE DAY BEGINS

Quiet time — just before the heartache of sun 
knifes the edge of night, lifting it from the horizon 
with surgical precision, a slit, into a grand opening.

The universe silences — just before birdcalls 
bounce off the sky with insistence. Just before 
color returns to roses or the sanding of katydids,
before the day is shaped out of clay on a kick-wheel
into a pot we have to fill, our dreams parasailed
over the world. 

Before the returning lead goose points the way,
encouraging others to follow, the trailing geese
are tugging the sun into place. Before them all,
I’m up and at ’em, curiously excited to see 
what’s next. I know I am not necessary 
for the total picture, but the world is just waking — 
now, a small portion narrowing into focus.

This is the quiet time, when a day starts 
for the first time.

Martin Willitts Jr. has 21 full-length collections including the 2019 Blue Light Award-winning The Temporary World.  Forthcoming books include Harvest Time (Deerbrook Press, 2021), Leaving Nothing Behind (Fernwood Press, 2021), Meditations on Thomas Cole’s Paintings (Aldrich Press, 2021), Not Only the Extraordinary are Exiting the Dream World (Flowstone Press, 2021), and All Wars Are the Same War (FutureCycle Press, 2022). He is an editor for The Comstock Review.