I Make a Pact with the Sparrow

by Sarah Goldstein

It is a premature spring day,
the middle of March.
The squirrel rifles through the pine needles,
the magnolia buds press
from their fur sleeves.

A throng of sparrows is hopping at my feet.
I want to say   Be careful.
It is early yet.

The warm air is collusive;
it stirs the scents of unopened flowers.

The clock sounds twelve. I throw down
my last piece of bread on the shadow
of sycamore branches forked and waving.
When every crumb is eaten, the group flocks
to the bushes for berries, all but one

thin one in a brown mask
who revels in dirt
as if it were a pile of silks.
He glances backward and bites at his nape.
His wings liken to gravel;

the shadow of the tree migrates across the stones.
He issues his note, a brief query -
twice and we have an agreement.
A promise of summer:
to grow lawless with the increasing temperature.

Sarah Goldstein
Last modified: Sun Aug 9 05:56:23