Sparrow, Sparrow, What Did You Say? by Ada Limón

A whole day without speaking,
rain, then sun, then rain again,
a few plants in the ground, newbie
leaves tucked in black soil, and I think
I’m good at this, this being alone
in the world, the watching of things
grow, this older me, the one in
comfortable shoes and no time
for dishes, the one who spent
an hour trying to figure out a bird
with a three-note descending call
is just a sparrow. What would I even
do with a kid here? Teach her
to plant, watch her like I do
the lettuce leaves, tenderly, place
her palms in the earth, part her
dark hair like planting a seed? Or
would I selfishly demand this day
back, a full untethered day trying
to figure out what bird was calling
to me and why.
Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a finalist for the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award, and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. Her other books include Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers. Here work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Observer, Harvard Review,, and elsewhere.