Birds of Dawn

Summer finally vanquished
cool breeze of fall
through the bedroom window
a bit chilly
all night
under warm weather sheets.

As the black lightens
into gray,
two distinct chirps
awake me,
sharing news
of the coming sun.

The short cheerful rhythms
help disperse
the darkness
along with my fading slumber.

“It’s a new day,”
they seem to celebrate
and I agree,
though eyes shut again
and breathing slows.


Blaise Kielar received Honorable Mention in the 2022 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize for an excerpt from his memoir in progress, "Be Heard: The Quiet Kid Who Started the World’s Loudest Violin Shop." He opened Chapel Hill’s first violin shop in 1978 and retired from a music retail career by transitioning Electric Violin Shop into the first worker-owned co-op music store in the United States. He plays jazz violin and clarinet in several bands and leads the Bulltown Strutters, Durham’s community New Orleans brass band.