the finch i see that sits upon a tree—
he walks the plank, one span’s end to end—
he stops and howls to the anxious wind,
beating on the branch below with tiny toes, and knows
something i know not.

he knows the wicked sun unleashes scorch
that not the wind alone, nor birdsongs salve;
he hears the roaring of the sin that hangs,
the sugared sweat of sinners’ sum roasting in the rays,
for days on countless days.

he knows who lurches in the shadow there
and how below they lust for things that shine;
but he, like eagle at the climb, stretches wing
beyond its make, and through the rushing, striving gale,
gives pause to sinners’ wail.

tho it be sure, they at their end shall hang,
sweat anointing skin leathered by the sun;
and sweetest finch, atop the world will see
and he will shade with paltry wing, the crying ache
of them who at the sunset ever shake—