Consider the Sparrows
So many come, Dad hides behind a blind
with birdshot and a rifle in the grain field.
They scatter, land, scatter, land. I hear them
chirping through the boom, watch their flight
ripple like cotton sheets lifted in the wind.
A sparrow’s egg on concrete – the yolk
seeping through the fracture – makes me stop
to look from broken shell to fretting maple
branches above for the mother who chirrups
in her nest, twitching, head tilted, eyes blinking.
This too shall pass, small sparrow. Tomorrow
I will walk beneath your bed just like today,
the ruined egg in smaller fragments, or vanished
and you will scavenge the earth, fly overhead,
the sky heavy with you and your flock,
who will not know me from any other beast
below. I will regard you as just another
house sparrow, aggressive attacker
who captures bluebirds in their nestboxes,
descends on golden fields of grain.