A sparrow calls as the sun comes up
in a world that overflows with pain.
I’ve been crying all night.

The fog dances,
tears staining my cheek, making it itch
with contrition. My eyes are puffy, red.

The process is a logical progression
like the faith that leads to hope, then hopefully
upward toward love. The sparrow,
who now flies toward the brush,
welcomes the warm light of the sun without

knowing (anything) about me,
without knowing that the salt of
repentance brought me to this place,
where today I am a winter tree: Dormant
yet pregnant with the germ of forgiveness.

first published in Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal