Mourning for Zenaidura
Outside the window, seeds laid on the ledge,
A sick dove staggered, pecked, staggered again,
And while I watched, it toppled off the edge
And lay struggling, then feebly pecked again.
I took some water in a small can lid
and set it by its unprotesting bill,
I built a barrier so it was hid
From predators seeking an easy kill.
Night came and dawn, and with the morning light
I saw the vanity of what I’d done;
The dove was there, eyes rigor mortis tight,
Flecked feathers golden in the morning sun.
I took some comfort in an ancient word,
“God knows when sparrows fall,” or any bird.