ciae meae puellae, –Catullus2
Perched outside my window
on an ice-glazed limb
two plump sparrows without necks,
waiting out winter.
Among all the birds at my feeder
only sparrows comes to dine,
tucked into their collars.
Not the downy woodpecker,
but rather sparrows woke me,
tapping at my window to complain
that the feeder’s empty
Sparrows mid-air, fluttering wings,
waiting in a holding pattern
for a turn at the feeder:
Passer domesticus traffic control.
Pull up the sheet, cover your nakedness!
No, it isn’t the neighbor this time
smoking outside again on his back porch;
it’s sparrows on the windowsill, gawking.
One, two, three, four, five,
six sparrows crowding my feeder;
of the same poem
* * *
Mark Pawlak is the author of nine poetry collections, most recently “Reconnaissance: New and Selected Poems and Poetic Journals.” He lives in Cambridge, Mass.