Convinced that she could teach a baby bird to fly,
a young girl cupped him off the ground
to which he'd fallen, beneath the apple tree.
She tossed his spindly-feathered body to the sky—
he never made it to his nest, instead coming to a violent rest
upon the peat and twigs— but she was not
a quitter, then. She cupped the bird, again, and thrust him,
granny style, to the mercy of the wind.
He only thudded from the air, could barely peep that time.
But she clasped the bird once more within her dirtied fist,
and heaved him all the higher. Two thumps came—
the baby, no strength left to quiver, then the apple
that his impact had delivered to the sullied earth.
When the girl next took the bird into her hand,
the cooling flesh about his tiny wings and belly
held no flex— the girl knelt beside the forest,
stuffed the bird into the ivy undergrowth and laid a leaf
across his face to shield his awful eyes, or perhaps to shield
the truth, now incubating in her gut.
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