Now I know why he frantically pecked

the keys of his Royal typewriter,

index finger by index finger;

notes on scraps of paper,

phone numbers on the backs

of business cards, files filled

with facts, figures, photos,

scattered at his feet;

why he typed alone

in a distant corner

on a deserted editorial floor

of The Kansas City Star

after the last edition

was put to bed;

a side glance now and then,

a pause, a wince,

at street light glare

through the smudge

of crusted windows;

and why he pecked

faster and faster

for deadlines

he set for himself

to finish the many stories

he raced to write

to meet the morning sun