Aubade with Bread for the Sparrows

Oliver de la Paz

The snow voids the distance of the road and
the first breath comes from the early morning ghosts.
The sparrows with their hard eyes glisten in the difficult light.
They preen their feathers and chirp. It’s as though they were
one voice talking to God.

Mornings are a sustained hymn without the precision of faith.
You’ve turned the bag filled with molding bread inside out
and watch the old crusts fall to the ice. What’s left
but to watch the daylight halved by the glistening ground?
What’s left but an empty bag and the dust of bread
ravaged by songsters?

There are ruins we witness within the moment
of the world’s first awakening and the birds love you
within that moment. They want to eat the air
and the stars they’ve hungered for, little razors.

Little urgent bells, the birds steal from each other’s mouths
which makes you hurt. Don’t ask for more bread.
The world is in haste to waken. Don’t ask for a name.
You can surrender, for there are more ghosts to placate.
Don’t hurt for the sparrows, for they love you like a road.


Source: Poetry foundation. Author. Image: © Dbrro. AWIP:


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