A Small Bird by Carol A. Amato

A Small Bird

A small bird’s egg tooth pokes light
into that safe darkness.

She rises wet from the jagged shell
to see the cold awareness of stars,
an imperfect egg moon.

She feels the weight of mother
love above her, transient as
the broken fragments and the swirl
of feathers beneath her.

The nestlings grow quickly
the constancy of protein stuffed
often into their gaping mouths
(unlovely the caterwauling of need)
readying to test the sky.

Except for her.

She watches as they lift from their
boney home to join the flock
jostling for space on the high wire
paralleling the divided highway
dark sentinels facing into the wind.

In a sudden
they rise together conjoined as one
whirling and veering
slanting in and out of clouds
the swarm like a cult of bees
impenetrable and unquestioning.

She feels the pull of a gentle wind
lifting her maiden feathers into
a prophetic V.

Balanced on the nest edge
she leaps into that rarefied air
soaring on her own wings into
the swirling thermals toward the bold
new moon and the intrepid stars
like her
a small brave bird.

by Carol A. Amato

Editor’s Note: The imagery in this poem feels like allegory, but even if it isn’t, the narrative of the small brave bird is one many of us need right now.

3 thoughts on “A Small Bird by Carol A. Amato

  1. A perfect poem for the day we’re participating in the Audubon bird count. This is a good poem on many levels, both metaphorically and literally. These words paint a picture, tell a story, and leave the reader with much to ponder. Thanks for the gift of this poem, Carol.


    • Thank you Larry, for your kind words about my poem which truly touched me. Prophetically, I saw it posted as I was riding to a place where raptors soar on a birding trip with Mass Audubon! And I did too, soaring like that small bird!
      I hope you counted many on this auspicious bird day!
      Carol 🦅


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