Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

Little Birdie

March 19, 2008

we each saw it on the driveway
stopping, one by one
to lean over and look
at a little bird
who seemed stuck to the pavement
soaked from the steady rain

we said ‘hello!’
in a lilting voice
so that a 2-year old would understand
but such childlike greeting
seemed to open new wells of compassion
as the rain fell

we wondered aloud
how you got there
what tragedy had befallen
what might happen to you
what part of nature would benefit
if you didn’t recover

I don’t know why
or when
or how
I shifted
why I now look at sparrows and lilies
with a kind of insistent expectation

in the past
I would have left it to the elements
counted on a cat
or the neighborhood hawk
to bring severe mercy
or even considered ending its misery myself

but those ways have faded
so I hustled the girls inside
and hurried back out
to move it out of the rain
but when I returned
it was still

free from pain and cold
and I, free from my worry and guilt
but more sorrowful and full of regret
left wishing there were more we could have done
some way to redeem the universal promise
to sparrows and lilies

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