A Sparrows’ Rosary, May, 2017

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under the apple trees
sparrows chatter while
pecking out their prayers

fluttering from branch to branch
they release the sacred messages
you tucked under their wings
as you lay dying

you’ve left me now
the sparrows pray
my heart fills with grief inconsolable

the birds flutter past, open their wings
and I gather up your promises
as they drift down
one by one

I remember when the apples were blossoms
their incense rising, a delicate worship
your eyes spoke a love
so pure that it was holy

when the apples were green
they hung as a rosary from branch to branch
slightly off balance
weighted with unfamiliar heaviness

when the apples bloomed red
under the lonely fire of an autumn sky
you watched me pull them
down one by one

keeping time until that last day
when you turned to go
finally, unable to stay with me longer

I heard
the sparrows open up
their small white throats to
sing your way home

For my husband, John H. Townsend, August 5, 1937 –May 4, 2017
(Obituaries Times Argus May 27, 2017)

Darlene Witte
Darlene Witte

Professor of Education, (retired) at Johnson State College in Vermont leads the Green Mountain Writers' Poetry & Performance workshop that meets on Zoom each month on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 7 PM ET. Find out more at https://www.meetup.com/green-mountain-writers

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