~~ The Gray One ~~
He sat and watched the sparrows play...around the feeders there.
His wife had loved those little birds...but now he didn't care.
She always kept the feeders full...and birds would flock around,
And squirrels would eat the bigger seeds...that fell upon the ground.
It seemed those little birds would wait...for her at first sunlight,
He thought they must have slept...in all the bushes within sight.
But yesterday he buried her...his wife of thirty years,
And now alone he watches them...and tries to hold back tears.
He doesn't want to feed the birds...the feeders have run dry,
But all the birds still flock around...and he just wonders why?
He doesn't want to start with it...he'll probably take them down,
He really doesn't care right now...if they don't come around.
So, day by day he sits and stares...beyond the feeding place,
So far into the distance...in another time and space.
And, one by one the sparrows leave...but one still comes each day,
It's different from the other ones...one wing is colored gray.
Then each day as the days went by...the little bird was there,
The feeders were all empty...but he didn't seem to care.
The sparrow sat upon the perch...and seemed to look at him,
He sat about an hour...then he flew away again.
He wondered if that little bird...had been her favorite,
Because there was no food for him...but there he still would sit.
So he went to the garden shed...to try to find some seed,
He thought if just a handful...he knew that was all he'd need.
He found a bag within a plastic pail....that she had kept,
And as he thought about his wife...he just sat there and wept.
He thought again, she loved those birds...but now they were all gone,
Except the little gray-winged one...he was a hanger-on.
So everyday he took some seed...just enough for one,
And watched until the little bird...had eaten and was gone.
Then he took the extra seed...that remained on the tray,
And saved it to use once again...for him the following day.
He wondered where the bird would go...each day when it was fed,
It never hung around the bushes...it flew off instead.
Then weeks went by and everyday...the little bird would come,
And leave and fly away again...the minute he was done.
But then one day it didn't come...and then a week went by,
He thought it must had flown away... some place where it could die.
He knew something had happened...when the sparrow didn't come,
So then he took the feeders down...his feeding days were done.
There was a bag of seed left...in the little garden shed,
He put it in his car trunk...knowing that the bird was dead.
He'd take it to his sister...who had feeders at her place,
To throw it in the garbage...would seem such a total waste.
Then early Sunday morning...he arose before the dawn,
To visit his wife's resting place...and manicure the lawn.
He always took some flowers...and would place them by her stone,
He felt she knew that he did not...just leave her all alone.
It seemed like such a lonely place...when he would visit there,
And he knew that she never liked...to be alone somewhere.
Then as he parked his car to walk...to where his wife did rest,
As always fighting back the tears...he tried to do his best.
But through his tears he saw the grave...and then he had a thought,
Remembering the bird seed...and he whispered, "Oh, why not?"
He went and got the bag of seed...and spread some on her place,
And as he did he hoped his friends...would not think it disgrace.
But as he did, he thought the birds...would also come again,
And then his lovely wife would be...surrounded by her friends.
He thought he'd do this everyday...he knew she wouldn't mind,
He loved his wife so very much...and she would think this kind.
So as he spread the seed about...he knew her friends would come,
And he would bring the seed to them...until his days were done.
And then he'd tell his children...when beside her he would lay,
To bring the seeds and feed her friends...just as he did today.
But as he stood and watched for birds...behind an old oak tree,
His eyes began to tear again...at what he now did see.
A little bird, the first to come...to get some seed that day,
A little sparrow and it had...a wing the color gray.
Written by James A. Kisner
Disclaimer:James A. Kisner's poems are copyrighted by
Fleeting Moments Publishing
and may not be reproduced without permission.
Permission granted to use Poppy's poetry on this site
Painting used with permission of Jim Behlen Jnr.
Art cards and poetry by Romantic Light Artistry