“UNTITLED #11” A Poem By Erick Mertz


"Untitled #11" A Poem By Erick MertzToward basement.

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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Read last week’s poem, “Omnibus:Autumn” here and “Charles Bukowski” here.