PoetryMagazine.com                       BACK
Since 1996 Volume XXI


Floyd Salas
 

Floyd Salas, recipient of NEA and California Arts Council fellowships among other awards, is the critically-acclaimed author of four novels, a memoir and two volumes of poetry.  His novel, Tattoo the Wicked Cross, earned a place on the San Francisco Chronicle's Western 100 List of Best 20th-Century Fiction. Tattoo and Buffalo Nickel are featured in Masterpieces of Hispanic Literature. www.floydsalas.com

 

The Sparrow and The Nest

 

The Spring of '62

my son & I used to watch a bird

a sparrow I guess

build a nest at the top of our drainpipe

on the roof of our apartment building

 

We watched him

carry bits of leaf & twig

paper

even string to it

& the nest grew

until one day we noticed

that the bird wasn't around anymore

& wondered why

but forgot about it

until June

when there was an eclipse of the sun

& we went up on the roof

with a cardboard box

with a split in it

& a mirror & dark glasses

to protect our eyes

& saw the half-finished nest

at the top of the drainpipe

& went over to take a look at it

 

It was delicate

and webbed with sticks

as well as a spider could do it

& I wondered again why the sparrow had quit

when I saw this green string

caught on the galvanized metal

beneath the nest

but stretched taut

down into the mouth of the pipe

& pulled on it

until the dried body of the sparrow came up

hung from the string

by its neck

 

 

Copyright, Floyd Salas.
All Rights Reserved.