a sparrow came to me last night
light and quick she flew circles round me,
singing softly of the glory of the morning
and of all the stars of night
i opened up my hands to receive her
and she came to me.
for days and nights i held her
but she would not be held for long

and she flew from me one day,
as fast and far as thought could take her
into the wild blue night

she came to me again —
grim as the reaper
and bearing no song.
landing in my hands i saw
the ragged scars that ruined her,
felt the bitter winds that chilled her,
drawing her close
i tasted the solitude that haunted her.

weary of the world she came to me
and i closed my hands around her
for nights and days i held her
warmed her with my breath
kissed her back to

i opened up my hands for her
to let her fly and be free again
but she would not leave me
she stayed and sang for me,
of the starlight on the ocean
of the unending night.

there was naught that she could seek
that my two hands would not provide

closed my hands upon her
for the last time
and as she closed her eyes to sleep

i know she never saw me

Toby Gwak, Class of 2002

Graduate College, UIC