oh, passeridae!

by Sophia Grace

we stood at the corner together, silent, staring.
your breath slipped between your lips in a relentless
stream; it could have carried me for miles but the
river was frozen over, as had our hearts.

looking down; we wore peacoats that year, our
hair long and wrists thin. tiny body, feathers
fluffed against the cold, 'the heart stops'
he said and i said, 'yes, but when?'.

there is special providence in the fall of
a sparrow
but we did not defy augury. it
was the autumn of omens; the tea leaves
scattered into vague warnings and the
cup did nothing to warm our hands.

oh, passeridae! what hope is there for us
if your passing could be so silent, so still,
essentially unmourned. i crept back out to
you as he slept, burned sage, mumbled through
apologies that in hopes that one day, we could be reborn.


Author's Note: Reread Hamlet, got stuck on the line "There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow".

Posted on 09/30/2008
Copyright © 2019 Sophia Grace

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 10/01/08 at 12:16 AM

I love poetry inspired by Shakespeare, and this is quite nice as is. Autumn omens are wonderful, and I hear a hissing of tires on wet streets, and more...nice. Thank you.

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 10/01/08 at 03:09 AM

Yeah, I've gotten stuck on that line before. Heh. I tend to kind of get wrapped up in Hamlet though, so that's not too surprising for me.

Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 10/15/08 at 04:45 AM

I love this poem, the personal nature of it, the moment kept- the time extended like "relentless" breath, a "stream". The reference the unususal "passiderae" is wonderful- adds a mysterious depth- the complexity of a weaver bird in the poem- and the time stopping reference- all good. I would leave it unexplained and let the reader come to their own conclusion. (without the note) It is very strong in itself this poem, this time, this moment, and the reference adds power.

Posted by Allison Smith on 11/03/09 at 07:11 AM

Instant favourite.

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