All I see is a sparrow, and a dove
perched on the windowsill against the glass
and the sunfilm lets me get quite close up.
All I read is that the deaths have gone flat
even as the cases fizz and spiral
I don’t mean to disregard any pain –
yesterday I heard a friend of a friend
has passed, a colleague of a cousin lost
both her parents within weeks while away,
her mapped mother had slammed the borders shut
and so she wasn’t in on the last rites.
I’d heard in childhood even walls had ears
but now they’ve evolved into empty eyes
in which one screaming headline’s reflected
briefly followed by another, graver -
that chokes off the ability to scream.
Only the glass shows me a pair of birds
perched to avoid the worst of midday heat,
on the wall a death curve that has flatlined
somehow bends into the outline of hope
even though it’s probably transient
even though the numbers are enormous.
For now I have the dove and the sparrow
and no guilt in choosing a narrow frame.
I have for now much less than a blank walland to blot it out, I have this blank verse.