No one saw the sparrows fall
or noticed when they ceased to call.
For weeks their flinty beaks were still,
unable to announce the kill.
At night a wanderer fleeting past
saw the feathers in the grass,
felt the first foreboding chill
at tiny corpses on a hill.
Stumbled back when at his feet
bony wings began to beat.
Launched into the moonless sky
a flock of things that would not die.
So have a care when sparrows fall;
they may not be true birds at all,
only husks of restive dead
who fly a darker path instead.