Out of the Ordinary

The summer we met you wrote:

 what it would be like to wake with a lover

   as accustomed as the sparrow’s serenade

   beautiful in its simplicity

   dear in its ordinariness 

Fourteen winters on

you call to me, urgent, from somewhere downstairs

deep in the recess of our house — go quick! to the kitchen

window! go! go! look!

I put down my pen, set aside the poem I am

always trying to write, reach the pane as your awestruck

voice fills the house: snow sparrows! snow sparrows!

— they are unlike any bird — part seagull, robin, polar fox —

tramping out a crisscrossed code in the snow,

never before seen in these parts, but they have found

our house, the one where every inch of lawn

is rock garden, flower bed or fish pond, all the work

of your hand and green thumb. The first three days

of this newborn arctic spring, they light rare awe-

some beauty on our simple, accustomed, ordinary life.





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