The Rumor

Innocence is taboo, inimical to society.
We begin with the innocence of musical sounds
In their continuum and find a melodic path through the trees.
That is what we were talking about, my love, in our treehouse
In the huge old apple tree. We were The Pathfinders.
That is what we wrote with the pencil stub
On one of the tongue-and-groove boards
Which Daddy used to build the treehouse.
"The animals are innocent, aren't they?
Always behave as though the animals
And the birds in the sky were observing you,
The little birds with their tongues of fire."

I stop the bicycle in the ruts and have to dismount.
A flock of sparrows is foraging on the newly harrowed field.
I stand catching my breath.
The day is breathtaking, piles of cumulus
Nearly unmoving in the blue sky,
It is high-ceilinged out here, as they say,
The light reflected off two expanses of water.
The sparrows whirr up from the sods and
Broken stubble and into a clump of wild roses.
They perch like clothespins for a moment
Among the new hips then vanish in them.
Were there that many roses?

Kenneth Tindall

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