Wednesday, 9 October 2013

About a Bird

The bird is behind the crabapple, to the right of the spruce.

The spruce is sparse of needles and grows crookedly.
Not enough light,
not enough space.

This summer a nest fell from the maple. 

A wonder.

I brought it inside to admire. 
I put it in under a dome of glass.
It became a dead thing
in a museum.
I did that.

I found the bird after lunch, also dead.


The light in autumn is false.
It comes at a slant and casts long shadows that weren’t there in summer.
It makes mirrors of windows.

Birds fly into windows.

These are facts I tell myself.


I dig the hole in the back garden,
behind the crabapple, to the right of the spruce, 
near another bird I buried long ago,
and a baby rabbit found by the back gate in the spring.


The nest is small.
A strip of birch bark spirals down from its tangle of grey twigs.
When I bring it outside, the breeze takes up the strand like a prayer flag.

I lift the bird.
I want to hurry
but I make myself slow.
I feel the still breast.
No frightened, fluttering heart.
I feel the soft yet solid body.
Its oval shape fills my cupped palm. 
I feel its mass.

I look for wounds,
such as a cat might make.
Or a window. 

No blood. One leg awkwardly bent.

What does it mean?

I rest the body into the nest.

The bird would not have lain so.
It would have sat up, tiny legs tucked under its white tummy.

I place the nest into a brown bag.

I need to use the bag.

A temporary buffer between the elements.
Between earth and sky.
Between what flew through today’s cloudless dawn and what lies below.
Between wings that parted the wind and the gravity of a grave.
Do you see?

I put the bag into the hole. I do not pause.

I shovel on the displaced dirt.

The whole is covered.

I put the shovel away.
I walk into the house.
I wash my hands.

1 comment:

  1. The birds, yes, and also the bees. Every dew-drenched morning I go out back to take in the changes in the garden. The huge red & yellow flowers (will try for pic) are loved by the bees. For the past 3 days there have been bees unmoving or bees hardly moving on bright yellow flower-head. I take false relief when I see one actually fly by. I wish the others home to what I hope are warm hives but mostly I just watch. At dusk, I go out again.