Henslow’s Sparrow

by Catherine Chandler

“Hope” is the thing with feathers — (Emily Dickinson, poem #254)

The Henslow’s sparrow lives among the sedge
in meadows where the tall grass sighs and bends.
It has been known to skip along the ledge
of surface mines where the escarpment ends.
This delegate of an endangered breed,
whose song is just a whispering refrain,
will perch atop a rosy trumpet weed
unruffled by the darkness and the rain.

Or so they say; for I have yet to spy
the shy, elusive bird, or hear its song,
except in Audubon recordings. I
admit to shaky faith, but play along;
and though my yard’s a skirl of jays and crows,
someday it might show up. One never knows.

Audio player requires Flash 7 or later. Get Flash.
(A different version of this sonnet was originally published in Candelabrum, Spring 2007)

Catherine Chandler’s poetry has been published in numerous print and online journals and anthologies in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia. She has recently been featured in Able Muse, The Centrifugal Eye, Sonnetto Poesia and The HyperTexts. A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee and two-time finalist in the Nemerov Sonnet competition, Catherine is the author of two Chapbooks, For No Good Reason (2008) and All Or Nothing (2010), both from Olive Press.  Her first full-length collection of poems, Lines of Flight, will be published by Able Muse Press in 2011.

See links to all sonnets by this author

Next »

Pat Jones
Published 2 January 2011