Wynn Yarbrough >
It's a Bird's Life
The baby bird breaks the shell and peeks its head out of the swallowing folds of her dress. All around her clouds shift, droop, and sigh. She coos softly, “Pack your wings full of seeds, stay clear of the boxwoods.” With his wings pickled in fetal scum, the light blinding his barely born eyes, she’s not sure she’s witnessed a miracle. Her shoulders drop, her breasts swell, her nipples turn to thimbles. She scans the park. A child ducks the shitting gulls, the thundering horses strain to keep the oak wheels gliding, leaves commit themselves and fall. She clears her throat, cawing over a piece of feather in her beak. She picks the lint off her arms, flicks the dead moth off her lap, and begins to cry. See, she knows: one day his best friends will look at him and see: sacrifice: and fly away. And no one is alone until they’re alone on a telephone wire scanning the horizon for someone to call. She knows he’ll bitch and whine and moan until he’s hoarse. She loves birds and nature and love but needs something more. So, she picks up the pieces of the shell and takes the baby bird back home So, she puts him inside and lacquers the husk. Let him crow his way back out, she thinks preening her feathers, let him show us a real miracle.