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Zeno's Sparrow

He walks into a thin morning
Of mist over the low
Appalachians—and already
A wheat-feathered sparrow
In the wheelwell of his car,
After bug-nuggets, seeds,
In tread and mud, the little
They live on, and where
In the deadend of winter
They find it. Someone's friend
Is being slid
Into the side of a hill somewhere near here
Forever this afternoon.
Someone always is, but this one's
One of his,
And the difference
His steps in the gravel
Seem so slowed right now,
The moment so riddled, his mind
Blinking at so much light,
That most of what he'll remember
Is a long morning spent
Walking toward
A blue car
A sparrow's feeding on.

Arthur Smith

The Fortunate Era
Carnegie Mellon University Press

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