How to Herd Moths

Turn off the ceiling light.
Hold your small bedside lamp
overhead like Lady Liberty.
Lovingly lure them from blinds,
corners, ceiling and walls,
open the window, reach outside,
shake them loose into cool night.

A few may refuse.

Think.  An hour before sleep,
turn off all upstairs lights
except above the bathroom sink.
Leave the door open a crack, a lean beacon.
Wait.  Peek in to see the velvet clicking
herd, mad with their love of light,
whirling dervishes of night.  Breathe.

Minutes before sleep, screech open
the screenless bathroom window, squint
against dozens of diving wings, brush your teeth,
pull the light’s string, close the door:  done.
By morning, the bathroom will be empty.
While we dream, moths free
themselves into rising sun.

2009

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