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House sparrows find my open office
in Oahu every day. They enter curious
or hungry and stay only moments,
enough to alight on familiar ground
but rarely far from easy flight.

One evening my father died. Distant
and growing weaker, he lost his voice.
Soon his soul escaped for a sea of Light.
A house sparrow, insistent,
stayed near me and then I knew.

The next day my sister called
to share what the sparrow
had already proclaimed,
and grief surged like small waves
that always return like the birds who visit,
their language familiar, determined, and brief.

By Rüdiger Rückmann
Written on 8 March 2017

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