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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Splitting the Lark


He wants to kiss youbites back his lip

as though the urge is wrong

smiles. There’s something about the look in his eye

that startles: should a blade of grass ever

be so sharpa lawn of knivesonly the lark

dare meander through the undergrowth, its song

the effervescence of champagne.

 

Crazy bird! There is nothing for it

no struggling seed, no wriggling grubyet it dances

between the blades; frolics, hops, twirls.

Would you  dare do the same? Would you confront

the gaze, knowing that it could slice

right through you?

 

You brush the hair

from your walnut eyes, agree

to dance; he’s still biting back his lip.

 

He knows he could consume you.

You want to tell him it’s all right.

 

                             Tim Stobierski

 

 

I knew him long before he began

to forget himself

 

resting in the altar chair

swathed in the soft smoke

of burning copal and myrrh

after having just

given the most inspiring homily

of this year’s Holy Week

Father Ron

who is even now

beginning to exhibit

signs of the disease

that will one day eat away

his memories and his faith

leaving behind only

a broken ritual

and an eighty-year-old man

who cries out

“Mother!”

when the nurse comes in

to brush the crumbs of bread

stale body of Christ

from the corners of his mouth each day after lunch.

 

                                                   Tim Stobierski