Praise our sadness tonight,
settling like a wild bird
filled with grief.
A bird on a branch
above the world
singing sadness,
calling us to it.
Come, the bird sings,
let us make a song
of sadness. No one
will be alone.
Do not fear.
Oh, my friends, it sings,
do not fear.
There is no good news.
We will sing
of no good news.
Nothing will be hidden
and still we will sing.
Sing of sadness.
Praise it, my friends
and the cloud it comes from.
How beautiful it is,
how inexplicable.
How it makes us
more than we are
or hope to be.


Mary Ann Larkin authored That Deep and Steady Hum (Broadkill River Press) and six chapbooks; appeared in New Letters and other journals; co-founded the Big Mama Poetry Troupe performing from Chicago to New York; attended Yaddo and the Jentel Foundation, and co-founded Pond Road Press, which published Jack Gilbert’s Tough Heaven.