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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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NOVEMBER

 

you arrive

under the bluest heart of sky

 

long ladders of daylight settle on crippled grass

 

you appear like a friend unseen

knocking persistently until invited in

 

expecting only enjoyment of your company

 

squirrels dig more acorn graves

below naked oak bodies

 

you offer charitable slices of sun

to my boxwoods, ferns, and magnolia

 

you stroll through the day at your usual pace

digesting radiance as you go

 

leaving blue spruce shadows across the shed wall

 

and now

the ruby horizon links arms with you

 

unencumbered, carefree,

gone.

 

                                                 —Stephanie Brown


DOORSTEP OF A THOUSAND DEATHS

 

Sweeping grit and shags of oak leaf from concrete

steps unveils splotches of small, rust-colored stains;

evidence of a June bug massacre.

Slivers of reddish brown shell, and shreds of wing

swept into the patio rocks.  Luna moth,

drunk on porch light, clings to the house watching

lone surviving June bug on its back, three pairs

of legs kicking like a helpless baby.  Spare him

from being gutted by the downy woodpecker.  Bend down

and with a tender nudge, help him to his feet.  Watch

as he toddles across cold cement on exhausted legs. 

Be happy for the one life

you can save.

 

                —Stephanie Brown