Sparrow Song

I made it to another summer.

And while I listen to the rain land on the pavement,

I listen to my failures reminding me of how many times I hit bottom,

something my father never allowed himself to do, I’m afraid,

though I suppose his failures have become, in a way, my strengths,

and for that I am beyond grateful.

Like I know he did with me, I pick one up, and, holding it in my arms,

tell it everybody’s unsure if they’re going to make it, and that’s okay.

Tomorrow, I’ll make sure they are out of the sun,

while I stroll them down the street and sing them reassuring songs

meant to keep us all from feeling locked behind a psychiatric unit

or blowing like a light that keeps going out every time you light it.

I suppose, like the sparrow that comes to visit me at my window

and who I’ve taken to naming Coca Cola, because that just feels right,

I’ll remain front and center on the rail, to listen to my failures,

even when their chirping gets unbearable.

Because of this, because I stayed, they’ll grow up and become

much more capable than me.

By Chris Russell

Chris Russell’s poems have appeared in Mouse Tales Press, The Cafe Review, The Poet's Touchstone, Centripetal and Slope Magazine. He holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Concord, New Hampshire where, when not writing, drawing, or playing video games, he follows a calling as a Special Education Paraprofessional.