House Sparrow by John Brantingham

The glass on my front window 
is frosted up, 
so I don’t know if my wife 

is trying to watch me 
while I use the shovel 
to push slush off the front walk. 

There’s a house sparrow 
in the branches of one 
of my bushes, 

but he’s not watching me either. 
I think there are sparrows 
in the bushes in Ukraine 

not watching people 
in their daily tasks of survival. 
They’re in Moscow as well 

and anywhere else I’d like to name. 
Later, I’ll tell my wife about him 
and she’ll give me 

a handful of seeds 
to make his life a little easier. 
He won’t look at me then either.
Photo by Frank Cone on

About the Poet:

John Brantingham was the first poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and his work has been featured in hundreds of magazines and in Writer’s Almanac and The Best Small Fictions 2016. He has nineteen books of poetry and fiction including his latest fiction collection Life: Orange to Pear (Bamboo Dart Press)

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