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A Sicilian Song
the birds have lost their knack for song, chatter instead, rehearse
the morning’s gossip, knock about the dawn,
talk about the laundry on the lines.
It’s all up in the air, this small talk and banter
picked up from rooftops, the go-between of alleyways,
last night’s call to supper.
those birds not fit for village life are made to leave and go to sea,
circle the coast like a fest of kites, string the air
in flocks and populate the outer fringes of the sky.
They may lean towards the line at the horizon but never get too far
or lose the beach that brought them here
in the first place.
there’s a fisherman I met who says that he’s no gardener,
knows nothing of the trees in bloom, the names of birds
that hang their nets in branches.
Yet he takes to the sea with a spade and a stick all the same—
the birds, a circle behind him,
the fish, deep in the waves beneath him.
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