A sparrow flew full bore

toward a chain-link fence

and I cringed

until he smartly clutched

and held 

the wire of a hole

then launched himself out

at the same breathtaking speed

he’d sailed in, the fence

barely an impediment

and I actually laughed and clapped

at his consummate skill

until he sky-rounded back

and did it in reverse

through the same hole—

the little, insatiable



Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times, as well as for a Best of the Net Award. Please visit www.markbelair.com