Ice and Sparrow

Ah, my dear fool, you would not

fly south for the winter.

You would not go with those

to whom you belonged.

No matter how long they waited for you,

you ignored their call.

And you chose, instead,

to put your faith in the short-lived

kindness that was spread

by the hands of strangers,

Knowing from experience how

the days make their

charity thin.

Yet thrilling at the feeling

of the cold and the

way the snow might

melt away, however temporarily,

at the attention of someone

unfamiliar to you.

And besides, the others had

always found their way

back to you from the

warm climate where

they over-wintered.

Found their way back to you

and accepted you, once again,

as their own.

Perhaps you were innocent,

unaware that it would not always be so. And yet,

somewhere in your small heart

you must have known

such treachery can not go unpunished.

And somehow, instinct must have

warned you of a long winter coming,

when crumbs from

the fingertips of almost acquaintances

would no longer be enough,

when pity would dry up before

the spring came.

And so there, under the eaves of a stranger’s warm house,

your brethren,

who once had loved you,

would find, crushed under the ice,

you: the sparrow.


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