The canaries survive.

They sing, though,
only in the hours when silence
has become its own refrain.

Hauling by feel and habit,
the ponies startle at light

as we do, following
to a depth where the rock
walls are warm.

J.D. Smith’s fourth collection, The Killing Tree, was published in 2016, and in 2007 he was awarded a Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.