Purple Martins and Sparrows


In my neighbor’s three martin houses

Life’s drama plays out.

Martins and sparrows fighting

Fighting over the little rooms

Making up the little houses.


A universe of law unfolds:

Sparrows are here year round;

Martins are here from February to July.

But the houses are taken down in August and

Put up in January.

So should not each February

Yield each party equal right

To the little rooms of the little houses?


If pure beauty were the rule,

The sparrows ought to yield.

Sparrow squat bodies

Lose to the svelte beings

Which leave the houses and return

With a curving flight

Spelling grace upon the air.


--February 10, 2013