His Eye

Mahalia was singing in my head,
“His eye is on the sparrow…”
when I got out of bed to pee.

The October moon,
making brilliant squares
of the window shades,
is everywhere—

And now my father’s riddle
from long ago
chases out her contralto:

“I rode my bicycle to market today,
and Yet I walked.”

Each guess I made
what a child could make,
“Oh, Daddy, you don’t ride,” and,
“You can’t do both at the same time.”

The five year old that I was, conserving
what I knew of logic.
But it was easy when he explained
it as language:
a dog named Yet I.

Tonight’s simultaneity—

the moon in every window,
not first the kitchen
then the study—
defies all notions.

Which must be why
Mahalia sings it the way she sings it—
so you know it’s a big deal:
at once,
all the sparrows.