Various and Sundry Poetry

broken little bird

I mean you, bird. Wings at half-mast, legs awkward as marionettes, the cold slowing your movements across the busy highway. I mean you, bird, hesitating before the lucky find of a castoff meal left in the wake of the lunchtime rush. You, who can't quite believe good fortune could still be yours, a sustained current of warm wind, a nest-in-waiting from the town park's burgeoning trees. You who have married yourself to slim pickings, to underwhelm, to the quiet, reliable despair of longing. I mean you, bird. Eyes cast to the underpinnings of pavement, distrustful of your own weight and whether even this stone-solid patch could hold you. You, with your fists curled under, preserving some imagined ration of comfort, your back against a wall-less wall. I mean you, bird, feathers bristling with messy, irreconcilable fear, throat flattened, lungs a feeding frenzy of air. This is not the time, bird, to offer the sky your acrobatic heroics, spinning extravagant spirals into that endless blue. Nor is this an invitation for surrender and abandon, flinging untethered muscles into the deep heart of your aching, to make a display of your exposure and pain. Consider, instead, the small, earthly intimacies. The flex of your neck at rest. Your eyes adjusting, incrementally, to the dark. Your shadow, bundling itself up like it always does, intent on keeping you close. You are a broken little bird and flight is not your ally just now. You are a broken little bird but you are not dying. You are not gone.