A sparrow is a domestic alien:
Its thoughts are not betrayed in its mien.
The place of its inscrutable soul
Is not in the chirrups I hear;
Nor in the birds feeding around the bowl
That flock together but scatter when I near;
Nor in the incessant chatter of these omnivores
That makes observing them, to me, something of a chore.
And yet, in communing, we find common
Sense in what we might dismiss as solemn.
Breaking bread, sharing food: a sacral act
That smacks of incense and insincerity.
Yet sitting at a table, exercising common tact,
Is how we make a world from commensality.
With thanks to Don McKay’s “Adagio for a Fallen Sparrow.”