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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


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.