ADVICE TO WRITERS
We found it by accident, fallen out of a tree,
Its foot bent back. Not a pretty
Sight, but we loved it, drab and grey
As it was. It walked everywhere. Lamed,
It wouldn’t fly. It ate with us, fought
With the dog for food. Tame underfoot,
It dodged our traffic patterns
Badly. Its daily turns
Around the house were at best naive.
We thought it would never leave.
In spring we took it outside
To let it see the sky
Again. It hopped around the grass,
Ate the weeds, avoided the water dish.
The bowl, it felt, was predatory.
Such gentleness is easy prey.
That’s just about the story.
We nursed it, then it flew away.
At the start, it was scared of heights.
But, like a moth, it went for light.
It only flew in one direction:
Up. And then it walked down,
Stumbling over boughs, its own limbs
Shaking, as if the thought of sun
Had been a serious mistake:
Love for its own sake.
Circling for height - we were sure
It was taking one last picture,
Framing for posterity our sudden size,
Our smallness to its elevated eyes, -
How long did it take,
That final glide with its clumsy wake,
Maybe at the most ten
Seconds, before it was gone?