Open as the windswept plain
lit by monkey tricks and smiles
scudding clouds in chattering trees
her ten, tender, infectious years
spread tendrils across
a far wider, deeper swath

as aunts and uncles
through tears and cracks
recalled how she embraced
upon a wall in her new room
a gazelle’s mounted head
and spread around its neck
a feather boa blue; and how
with her cousin she would play
Siamese twins, and a pajama set
made one out of two

Savannah quietly stole past
our Private Property,
Do Not Trespass,
red warning signs, and swiftly
sliced our chain-link fences.

All at once, shy deer
and new, unfamiliar creatures
appeared in our garden, brown eyes
begging, “How will you treat us
on this short, short day?”

A plain plumed sparrow flashed
through sunlit woulds and coulds,
its steady trill declaring,
“Dare I dare? Dare I dare?
How dare I not, on this short, short day!”


Savannah sparrow – North American, having brown and white plumage, with a yellow stripe over each eye.

Stay in Touch

Receive the Earth-Love Newsletter, event invitations, and always a poem.