Death rapped on our window at dawn
so I leapt from bed and out the door
to shoo it away.
But there, below the window,
in the morning shade of the Mulberry tree
a Western Kingbird lay.
Damn it, I cried aloud to death,
I’ve tried to keep you at bay.
How many window decals do I need
to keep them all away?
You silly thing, I said to the bird,
and scooped to pick her up.
Stunned and afraid
she fluttered her wings,
flipping helplessly in the dust.
With soothing words, i tried again.
cupping hands around my little friend.
Who showed little life.
Who looked near the end.
But I was not interested in welcoming death,
so finding a box and trying my best,
I set the bird down in a soft, cotton nest.
A gentle stroke upon her head
and down her narrow bill.
Her wide, black eyes, now closed.
Her gray and yellow feathers, still.
Death, I see, is stopping by.
So I leave the Kingbird,
– and this mourning scene –
to have a good, long cry.
For the bird,
For the world.
For death hovers over this house.
It simply can’t be helped
with a 90 year old mother about.
Although uninvited, it came for a visit.
Not much to be done
except to face it.
I returned to the box
with the poor, little bird.
And, once again, I cursed aloud.
Reaching down for one final stroke,
suddenly the Kingbird woke,
and flew in a flash
to a neighboring tree,
2 thoughts on “Death, the Kingbird, and I”
I loved it and it was intresting imfact amazing
Sending lots of love to your Mom, and hope she remembers the fun we had at Knollwood, and especially in England during the Ryder Cup, Lord knows how many years ago…