Sparrows


Winter stark
the naked hedge
twitters
with the thin invisible shells of sparrows

Stare at a single branch
stare
stare
and there:

a bud
becomes an eye
a twig
a leg
a feathery apparition
now one of hundreds

Reach in
shake the hedge

whoosh

a million birds in cruel combustion
their bodies becoming vapour
their peace becoming panic
a smoky wisp of flock
dissolving into the white sky

Watching them go I understand
how it must’ve felt
to have your hands
tangled
in the branches of my heart

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