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
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.