September 28, 1956-November 21, 2003
You called me out for a sparrow
fallen from the Douglas fir,
the nest invisible in the endless web
of branch upon branch reeling above us.
And what comfort was I,
your earth-bound wife, nine months
pregnant, barely moving?
You lifted it into the warm cradle of your hands
and for a long moment we didn’t speak.
The child inside me shifted and turned —
a certain impatience, I suppose, to get on with things.
And then so gently you balanced the bird
on a low bough, out of reach of cats.
We knew it would not survive the night.
The City Light crew
has trimmed the upper branches,
sheared off most of one side
to keep us safe, they say, from a collision
of evergreen and wire. Now it stands
In wind I fret over gusting limbs,
a shattering of glass and timber —
I keep watch over our sleeping children,
yet they wake and cry
to the rhododendron’s rasping
against storm windows.
My bones shiver
under cover, safe
from careening branches, from small birds
dropping into darkness.
--T. Clear, 1989
A Song For You (Live @ The Troubador, Los Angeles, CA) - Donny Hathaway