There is a barn sparrow
Who continually sings
One clear note.
I hear him every day
Above all the other bird sound:
From the deck of the house,
From the garden,
From the dirt road.
And, below where he sits on the fence,
Two cats criss-cross
Back and forth, leaving the barn,
Returning to the barn,
One half-hearted jump
From the beautiful singing boy.
But that’s not the most beautiful thing,
This is: He sings to lure us away
From their nest inside,
Built into a light socket above a stall,
A nest filled with the newly hatched,
And their mama tucked with them,
Her protective wing wrapped round,
Keeping them hushed.
I wanted to tell him I knew,
That I saw him flying away from it,
Landing on one wall,
Then the next, and the next,
Singing and tempting me slowly
To the outside fence,
But when I got close enough,
He flew away,
And when I followed,
He flew even further,
Until I was so far from the barn,
I was no longer a threat.
He gave me one last look as he perched,
Tipping with the wind,
On a scraggly branch of Toadflax,
Then he flew back to his fence post,
And continued his song.