For the Birds

Haven't you ever seen birds in train stations and large stores like Home Depot and Lowe's and wonder how they get along?  How they got in is obvious--some door.  But are they now living in the store till they die?  How do they eat?

Well, we're not the only ones who think about such things.  The poet, R. T. Smith wrote the poem below.  It appeals to me because he takes an ordinary occurrence and bumps it up.  His ordinary language is just right for this particular poem.  You'll see.  He'll draw you in.

Hardware Sparrows

Out for a deadbolt, light bulbs
and two-by-fours, I find a flock
of sparrows safe from hawks

and weather under the roof                                                  
of Lowe's amazing discount
store.  They skitter from the racks

of stockpiled posts and hoses
to a spill of winter birdseed
on the concrete floor.  How

they know to forage here,
I can't guess, but the automatic
door is close enough,

and we've had a week
of storms.  They are, after all,
ubiquitous, though poor,

their only song an irritating
noise, and yet they soar
to offer, amid hardware, rope

and handyman brochures,
some relief, as if a flurry
of notes from Mozart swirled

from seed to ceiling, entreating
us to set aside our evening
chores and take grace where

we find it, saying it is possible,
even in this month of flood,
blackout and frustration,

to float once more on sheer
survival and the shadowy
bliss we exist to explore.

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