We found it by accident, fallen out of a tree,

Its foot bent back.  Not a pretty


Sight, but we love 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?