LATE JAZZ FOR M
As the sound system played riffs --- un-
reeling sax, piano, and drums ---
and the late sun made the flights
and stays of birds, to and from
the feeder on the deck, pass through the sliding
glass door onto the white
wall, shadows that hung
like mobiles, only to dark-
flash apart, lost in the blue
falling outside the room, only to
flutter back, as one, as several whirl-
ins, miming the blind
beat, giving sound the form of free-
wheeling helixes as the chords
played them in another world
of blues, the two waves over-
lapping, light and sound, shadow and note
as one in some passed-into-other
place, before the birds flew
into the growing shade of woods and evening
and the reeling music gave chase
WHEN SPARROWS ARE SORROWS
I didn’t know his house, the wife, two kids, a dog,
except when my neighbor wasn’t in L.L. Bean’s warehouse,
running down mail orders, but stood under the overhang
of his gray-painted deck, sawing, drilling and hammering.
He crafted birch birdhouses and glass-sided feeders
on top of long metal pipes. He liked to feed meal worms
to bluebirds and thistle to goldfinches and mount double-decker
nesting boxes for swallows that soar and glide in loops.
He hated the house sparrows, muttered there were too many,
here because a rich guy thought we needed all the birds
in Shakespeare’s plays and imported them from England.
When sparrows nested in his boxes, he grabbed the clutch of eggs
and dumped them in the bushes. I wanted to say, sparrows
have a song, god is supposed to watch everyone.
After the kids left, the dog died, the wife stayed, he injected
air into the veins of his strong forearms but not enough.
From the sawing, drilling and hammering, I know he is back
from the ward. How do I tell him, sparrows will nest
on cement ledges, forage wild seed, unlike swans and snow geese,
their flocks aren’t cut down by wind turbines or crash
from sonic booms, they thrive by flying low.
SONNET FOR THE DAUGHTER OF THE MOTHER
You put her in pre-day care & day care & pre-K
Care & pre-school & school with special ed teachers
& a speech therapist when certain words were hard
& after-school care with sitters like aunts who never
Had kids & soon aged out & the neighbor’s teenagers
& their best friends until they zipped up boyfriends
& lucky you could afford English-speaking au pairs
Until on her own she could call security or set an alarm
Or snapchat if she didn’t want to have anyone over
& how were you to know if when you were around
She only had two words for you posted on one finger
Though you’d heard of other girls who ate like winter
Moths nibbling on wool sweaters & to think you carried
That girl in your body & her pushed into your world.
Glenn Morazzini’s poems have won the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize, an Amy Clampitt Residency Fellowship, Maine Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and have been published in Poetry, Rattle, and other journals.