Pond Sparrows

I never intended to kill the sparrows,
to scoop the bloated bodies
from deadly water with my small net
in the hesitant dew of morning.

My city spit of green is hardly Eden
for the motley life it draws from attics,
from hidden burrows, from who knows where
to battle it out in the wilds of Jersey

City where years ago I hatcheted
thin saplings tangled in the wire fence,
maneuvered a chainsaw despite ballooning
belly, to clear the land and make way

for new growth by summer’s end—
cherry tree, plum, 100-gallon pond
installed and fed, in step with my eight-
and-a-half-pound girl, an entrance made

a few weeks early, life water spilled
upon interlocking flagstones over
tamped earth, pain brought forth
under the dappled cover of new trees,

this garden of life, its shelter as spare
as the dangers are real, and unskilled sparrows
risk wing and feather as they swoop low,
tempted by orange fish in a plastic pond.

Ann E. Wallace writes of life with illness, motherhood, and other everyday realities. Her poetry collection Counting by Sevens is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing. Her work, recently published in journals such as Blood Sugar Poetry, Wordgathering, The Literary Nest, as well as Eunoia Review, can be found on her website. She lives in Jersey City, NJ, and is on Twitter @annwlace409.

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