Descending a darkened staircase,
into scattering of bird feathers:
gray down chaos, coarse plumage,
pulled from sparrow’s back,
splashed onto cold, concrete floor.
It was your two gentle hands.
You nestled the frightened fledgling in a brown bath towel.
Holding back eager beast by a collar,
your courage is soothing.
You step back from garden door,
releasing to the pale blue:
I recall your sense of relief that the bird could still fly.
Copyright 2015 by Erick Mertz
About This Poem
My wife is far braver human being than I am. When our cat, Iggy, brings a half-mauled bird into the basement as an offering, it’s her steady hands that return it to the sky. I remember this afternoon quite clearly, as though it happened yesterday rather than six or seven years ago.
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