The Partita

While at work
a woman rushes
into the building,
shouting frantically,
“There is an injured bird!
Who can help?
Might anyone help?”
head turning.

No one moves
or voices a word.
Instead, as though
everyone is caged
in their own
invisible prison,
they flash their eyes
upon the metal bars,
barely looking beyond.

I hear, I see
and so start
as though
from the other side
of a short staircase
from a cellar,
get a box
and follow her outside.

A sparrow
has broken its leg.
I tip the box.
It hops inside.
Such trust.
I have nothing to say.

Nearby, a raven
jumps about,

I carry the sparrow
to a place
in long grasses
beneath a tree,
leaving him the box
to shelter,
go back inside
and say nothing
for the rest of the day.

I drive home
and prepare dinner,
cut onions,
listening to Bach
and cry,
not saying a word,
crying with Bach,
or the woman,
or the sparrow,
or the box
which may or may not
already be empty.

The violin plays.
Or the musician plays.
Or Bach is present from the grave.

My husband opens the door and says…

But words are foreign to me…

The violin, the violin, three hundred years
the violin.

What to Do in the City