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What if every time we saw the word sorrow
we switched it to sparrow?

——-For my life is spent with sparrows…
——-With drunkenness and sparrows…

Or if it went the other way, the song would be,
——-His eye is on the sorrow….

§

My eye’s on the neighbor’s eaves,
and the copper-roofed house we put up in our yard,

its many rooms, multiple nests, generations—
as if we brought this clamor on ourselves,

this hurdy-gurdy, rabble, host and quarrel
of sparrows
————mixed with the morning radio

§

broadcasting a bombed hospital, bodies
under fallen roof tiles, shards of over-voice and wailing,

while outside birds flare up, knock each other off the feeder,
sparrows the color of rubble, of dust and mud,

burnt cars, blown-out windows, of wreckage
they could roost in, the earth a house of sparrows

§

on Sparrow Street, hunger house, and woe
to the poor who are spared nothing,

who gather at borders to beg and forage, are sold
——–two for a penny, five for two cents….

And yet doesn’t it say the Lord God
attends—bends down to count

§

each one shot, starved, buried in rubble?—
——–a man of sparrows and acquainted with grief.

Who says, when I bow my head,
——–Sparrows are better than laughter,

and to the rabble, the wailing, the how, the when,
who says,
——–Your sparrows will turn to joy—


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