//the sparrow and the boy
The Sparrow And The Boy
by Elizabeth Southwood
GOLD Honorable Mention Dec. 20 ‘99
with limerick rhythm
He lived under the stone overpass.
He had no parents in a warm house.
On a cold winter’s night
no candle was lit bright,
no stocking hung by a fireplace.
Living alone, he spent freezing nights
in cardboard boxes fighting frostbite,
without any cocoa,
without any pillow,
no mittens to wear, no warm firelight.
Nearby on the bank grew a willow
which overhung the creek. A sparrow
fell there, chilled, hungry, wet,
moved onto a blanket
of dried leaves reflecting headlight glow.
He put the trembling bird in his sleeve,
kept him warm throughout that icy eve,
and the bird snuggled tight,
chirped at dawn’s rosy light,
sang of the kindness that he received.
A roomy van showed up the next year -
a frosty, bitter night, moonless, drear.
A pink-cheeked boy appeared
with suet and bird seed,
arranged it for the birds which pecked there.