Sunday, April 13, 2008

For Emily

A wild bird in the house portends bad luck
Even death
So said my grandmother
She of Slovenian descent
This superstition though, transcends nationality
Migrating across imaginary boundaries demarcating countries
Italians, Greek, Scandinavian, Irish, Chinese
All warn against harboring
Undomesticated things with feathers

The cats wake us at sunrise
Howling and chasing through the front of the house
And I assume they are fighting
Over another imaginary feline slight
Then I recognize
The flutter of wings in distress
So I put on my slippers

The mourning dove shivers
Wedged behind the grandfather clock
Cat tails twitching with pendulum precision
Feathers littering the room
Betray the mayhem that had only just subsided

I eye the bird’s beak
Thin, pointed, needlelike
Weigh the chances of disease
As I cup its warm, weightless and hollow boned body
In my hands
Pinning its wings with my palms to its side
I open the door with my elbow

I toss it into the air
Not knowing whether it will fall lame
Or fly

1 comment:

Kelly W. said...

Love the new blog. Your post really spoke to me, Michael. Have faith that the dove with fly, its the only way.