People who live in glass houses
Recognize the sound—
The dull but loud and sudden thump
Of the Kamikaze Bird against the window.
In seasons past, the simple task
Required only the bagging
Of the deceased and the tossing
Of the bag into the can;
No pomp and circumstance
Requested, no will prepared
In advance of the tragic event,
Bequeathing seed and branch.
Mere mortality it is that strikes
These unlucky airborne creatures,
Whose vision tricks them—
A vision of a tree, a pure reflection
Of something they were bound to reach,
Had they diverted their direction
And sought a lower perch, perhaps
A goal less lofty for a fowl.
This year, the cardinal has only
Knocked the wind from her sails,
Set her tiny bird-head spinning,
Skipped a heartbeat, lost her breath.
So I, with cautious fingers,
Cup her gentle roundness in my palms,
As though her form might metamorphose
Into water at my touch and trickle through;
I place her neatly in the center
Of the cardboard box stamped "This End Up,"
Making certain not to hinder
Her escape in case of a quick recovery.
It is a skill I gained from a wizard,
Who confessed to having saved his bright balloon
Against the advent of a quick getaway,
And sure enough, the day arrived.
So when the bird's bright eyes have cleared,
And when the spinning stops,
She leaves me, changed in some small way,
As one who has seen God.