Out for a deadbolt, light bulbs and two-by-fours, I find a flock of sparrows safe from hawks and weather under the roof of Lowe's amazing discount store. They skitter from the racks of stockpiled posts and hoses to a spill of winter birdseed on the concrete floor. How they know to forage here, I can't guess, but the automatic door is close enough, and we've had a week of storms. They are, after all, ubiquitous, though poor, their only song an irritating noise, and yet they soar to offer, amid hardware, rope and handyman brochures, some relief, as if a flurry of notes from Mozart swirled from seed to ceiling, entreating us to set aside our evening chores and take grace where we find it, saying it is possible, even in this month of flood, blackout and frustration, to float once more on sheer survival and the shadowy bliss we exist to explore.
From Messenger by R. T. Smith. Copyright © 2001 by R. T. Smith. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.