Diaspora Sonnet at the Feeders Before the Freeze

I’m getting cold and the trees have darkened
into a tobacco-colored stain. Birds

cease calling each other—no more ears
in the branches. I haven’t slept for two nights

because their silence skewers everything.
My thoughts cannot be broken. The depths

of my thinking sink me. I hold firm
despite the rain, its dissolution.

There are no sparrows or chickadees, they
no longer fling back their heads, exalted.

Where have they gone? The birds and the finery
of their throats? Their gratitude for seed and suet?

Reprinted from The Diaspora Sonnets by Oliver de la Paz. Copyright © 2023 by Oliver de la Paz. Used with permission of the publisher, Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.