PHILIP RICE

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The Sparrow and the Goldfinch

Parking the car in my driveway,
I traverse the morning air,
noting the cool blues of the high sky
and the deep reds closer to the earth;
this morning I am not in a hurry
and that is a blessing all its own.

I turn back to check
if the headlamps will turn off
on their own. I wait.

And then two autumn leaves: the goldfinch
and the sparrow come down
out of the tree—
flutes of light descending to hard earth,

the brown throat of the sparrow gesturing in thanks,
the yellow wings of the finch caressing the air in thanks—

They come to ablute in the cloudy water,
with no regard for corruption
by oils and chemicals from automobiles.

All on their own they come
down, out of the tree,
singing.