Aubade with Bread for the Sparrows

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.

Oliver de la Paz, "Aubade with Bread for the Sparrows" from Furious Lullaby. Copyright © 2007 by Oliver de la Paz.  Reprinted by permission of Southern Illinois University Press.
Source: Furious Lullaby (Southern Illinois University Press, 2007)
More Poems by Oliver de la Paz