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the annunciation

July 11, 2007

The Annunciation

We walked
beside benches leading
to the Hirshorn
and through a gate.
We paused
to watch daylight drain
from the sky.

Four common sparrows:
brazen, blushed in sun
flashed first their dark-spotted overcoats,
then smooth, magnolia-blossom underbellies.

While they rose and dove
like bobbins through water,
embroidering the open-faced,
iron flower,
their high-pitched warble
kip, kip, kip, zeee carried over.

We stood
side-by-side, on a cement moon
planted in red brick,
snapping black-‘n’-whites.

I caught them all—
two facing, one’s back turned,
and the crowning glory—
his wings pitched back to the full
with invisible marionette strings;
his profile a fine cameo—
short beak, tail feathers tucked but splayed.

he looks like swinging ivory
against the stenciled, bare tree tops.

And I can hear Gabriel saying, “Do not be afraid…”

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