The Sparrow

by David Solway (October 2015)

And again with their wings against your windows…
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, “Rima LIII,” Book of the Sparrows


It sat on the edge of the highway

near enough to the landscaped margin

to provide a touch of irony,

wings folded the way a spectator

folds his arms as if to gauge

the contestants in any event.

I slowed down for an instant, conscience

on the brakes, expedience

in the rearview mirror, then slammed

the gas pedal to the floor. The car

spurted wings and flew down the very

same highway. It was only an instant

but long and bright enough to reveal

the blink in its bird’s-eye view from below.

The small head turning calmly observed

the traffic: no revving of feathers,

stalled by a thunderous exit, it

awaited the outcome as in uninvolved.

I had good reasons for not stopping:

the traffic, the bird was half-dead anyway,

I had to get home before rush hour,

what did I know about broken wings?

Today I passed the bird again, now

tossed on a shore of gravel, abandoned

like a small boat or a bottle

without a note in it, wings spread

like a crack in the windshield, as hushed

and startling as a verdict.



David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His forthcoming volume of poetry, Installations, will be released this fall from Signal Editions. A partly autobiographical prose manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry and Politics, is slated for later this year with Mosaic Press. A CD of his original songs, Blood Guitar and Other Tales, appeared last summer. Solway’s current projects include work on a second CD with his pianist wife Janice and writing for the major American political sites such as PJ Media, FrontPage Magazine, American Thinker and WorldNetDaily.  


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