Thursday, April 28, 2011

how vividly

i remember
killing the bird.
it lay on the sidewalk,
lungs fluttering, too
young, quite,
to fly.
thought it was dead
until i stooped to look closer,
lifted it
into my hands

tiny thing, yet it had
the obvious weight
of the living
that indefinable force, a presence
no one can explain.
i held it, broken thing
too fractured to live, but
not soon enough for dying

i carried the sparrow
beneath its oak,
laid it gently on the ground
but couldn’t leave it
to its suffering.

i said, i’m sorry
put the tip of my boot
on its tiny head, and
feeling the inaudible
released my foot

it lay still. i
hefted it once more in my palm
feeling the lightness
utter stillness
and placed it on its bed
of autumn leaves.

this is
death, i thought, the
moment between
and stillness.

i buried its body under the tree.
i walked on.

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