Four-thirty, morning. Unearthly time
by nuns' or any standard;
almost, this soggy May, monastic.
I close my door on sleep
for other sanctuary,
preceded by the birds
who long ago devised
their daylight saving.
Now, saving the daylight,
no other shape abroad
but the swinging step of rain
on rain-soaked turf.

Unbreakable as doom
five streetlamps watch me come
to keep my tryst.
Nailed each to a man-made cross,
usual as air,
we watch, mechanical,
dawn light dispelling glare;
hooding our early brightness in a cloud
tempers the shock
and orders lonely emanations
by a clock.