A Bird on the Road I watched as a baby bird fell from a tree, Trying to flap its youthful wings, So that it may fly so elegantly. Perhaps like his soaring father Or perhaps like his gliding mother Or perhaps just to feel The wind coursing In between his new Feathers. The bird landed on an empty street on the other side Of the library parking lot where I was. I watched it stumble up, struggling To stand on its barely-born feet. I heard it chirping—as if to call For someone someplace, distant, Someone who had left it Not so long ago On the road. The bird's naïve and innocent song fell silent, For only resting notes wrung from the branches. There was no response to the aching plea Of the sweetly-timbered sonata Softly resonating from the bird's Deflating tuft of a chest. No choir or counter-point Chorused to harmonize With its tune. I looked upon the bird. It appeared so helpless to me And I felt that I should maybe save it If I were not so reserved to simply watch. I do not know how to care for birds, Only to believe that safety should come. I gave my sympathy and my audience. Something intangible told me To leave its fate In nature's hands. As I pondered about the bird's chances for survival, A bright red sports car plummeted down the road— Speeding past in a blur on the isolated street. Its rubber tires rubbed against the pavement, Squashing the poor baby bird, Flattening it into a single, red stroke Painted and imprinted Into the rough grooves covering The rocky canvas. I realized that even if I would have risen to assist The lonely and wounded bird, I would have done nothing, But perhaps injure myself in the process. Yet, I was drained and depressed to see the bird vanish Because there was no hope for it. It was forgotten By ev'ryone and ev'rything except for me. The driver did not seem to care; The world did not seem to care, But I did... Though I did nothing. Tim Stensloff
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
A Bird on the Road
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