Post-War Baby Boom

06 Mar

“From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw —

I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone –“

“Alone” Edgar Allan Poe


Chapter I

High in a dying butternut tree, above the climbing bittersweet,

a pair of sparrows sat entwined.

Bobbing and pecking, with tail feathers visible,

they pushed and pulled, constructing a nest

from winters fallen twigs and kites’ missing strings.


Both unaware of the advancing wings on seductive winds

gliding in the heat of post-World War II victory;

with bold brown patches and brasso colored flares

flirting shamelessly with all the birds in nesting trees.

Mother: after laying her eggs, suddenly took flight on a south east breeze:

wings spread, open feathers, abandoning history.


Father: in haste, wondering who was first;

found in the chase, with another mate

in a steeple of an abandoned Christian church.


            Chapter II

Four hatching, cracked through egg shells

in a nest below a large branch, in a dying butternut tree.

Small insects dropped, in sacrifice, as meals

to their gratefully awakening beaks.

Weeks passed in the aging butternut tree

providing shelter, meals, and summer comfort.

The first hatching, though weak,

fluttered, stretched, and skittered

to stand on quick strengthening feet;

to peek and seek for something he felt, was missing.

Something unable to find, something not complete.

Something to teach him about sky, ground, gravity

and all that scary in-between.


Chapter III

Innocence in the face of dilemma,

all of them eventually perched on the ragged brim.

Taunted by instinct and haunted by uncertainty;

to leave and fly, to land on air, or just plain fall and disappear.

Watching them teetering on the rim,

the brave-born, with a sweeping two wing lurch

pushed them off before him.


Falling! Falling! They fell then dipped into swooping grace.

Wings with instinctive motion, caught them in flight.

Never looking back, they disappeared swiftly

between the pines, the hardwood’s, and the butternut’s plight.


Chapter IV

The last sparrow, now with confidence, excited without anxiety,

leaning chest first, feathers outstretched, he jumped too.

Falling much too close to the butternut tree

he became entangled in the vines of the creeping bittersweet.

Tumbling, swirling, crackling, he landed with a broken wing.


Oh mother, oh father, in his screaming,

he spoke not a word. It was only in their hearts

that they heard him fall.



Posted by on March 6, 2020 in Divorced, Existential, Father, Mothers, Poetry, Zen


Tags: , , , , ,

9 responses to “Post-War Baby Boom

  1. dsnake1

    March 9, 2020 at 9:50 am

    a beautiful and poignant tale. it’s not just about sparrows, methinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beverly Crawford

    March 8, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    A poignant tale, beautifully written.


  3. hypercryptical

    March 8, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Love it too, deep and deliciously told.
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sanaarizvi

    March 8, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    This is an epic write, ZQ 🙂 I was particularly touched by; “Innocence in the face of dilemma, all of them eventually perched on the ragged brim.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sherry Marr

    March 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Oh, that poor bird’s unheard scream. “It was only in their hearts they heard him fall.” I was enjoying the poem about birds. Then I saw the photo, and it hit my heart. How do small birds survive such a dangerous world? Thankfully, they do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    March 8, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    I love the metaphor of birds learning to fly… I feel for that last sparrow…


  7. Frank Hubeny

    March 7, 2020 at 7:02 am

    Beautiful remembrance told as the life of sparrows. I especially liked this description: “Small insects dropped, in sacrifice, as meals”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. scotthastiepoet

    March 7, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Was wondering if you had anything to offer – but so glad you did, even as a latecomer this time round. This is such an ambitious and telling pice of work and so richly written too… Great to be reading you again!! Bravo, my friend…


  9. rothpoetry

    March 6, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    I love your chapter poem. The one that struggles the most often falls through the crack! Love the photo. Looks like it came out of my family album!



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