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2011-03-29T22:55:17-04:00March 29th, 2011|Nature, Parenthood|

Silent and perfect

A baby robin clutches
the side of his nest
but thinks better
of leaping.
His mother berates him
a constant squawk
from her stage on the big cedar bough.
I peek in
he has fallen
asleep, impervious to her call
for obedience.
Three days in a row of this
spectacle of nerves
and the next day
she didn’t return.
At dusk
that grey mute hour
he climbed onto the ledge
of his woven brambled home
and flew
silent and perfect
into the cedar tree.
She will come back for him,
I thought.
The next morning I was getting firewood
from under the house
and there he lay
as though he was sleeping again
silent and perfect
but horribly
still,
his glossy black eyes
wet with fear.
I felt angry at his mother
for not understanding
he just needed more time
than his brothers,
for not coming back
though he must have waited all night
on the cedar bough
where her last words to him
were of disappointment.
And I felt angry
at the beast
who startled him
bullied him to the ground
and didn’t even take a bite
to make it feel orderly
to assure us that nature isn’t senseless
that only we push the weaker ones
for fun.
But mostly I was angry
at myself:
I was the one who saw him fly
for the first time
and I didn’t clap
or say a word.
He never knew
how proud
I was.

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