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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.