This afternoon, a sickening thud
and flash of feather past the pane.
I ran outside. There, breathing blood
he lay, quick-circling the drain.
His panic came up like a flood,
So terrified to see me there.
His feathers splintered at his throat,
a bit of iridescent flair
that once lit up his tannish coat
now fluttered down between my boots,
and wings that bore him swift and sure
bent backward, broken at the roots.
Firm in my hand he softly stirred
and gazed at me, and gasped, and died.
So delicate, this broken bird,
passed quiet as a whispered word.
I laid him out and went inside.
Four hours on, the sky dark-blurred,
I went to look at him again
But stopped up short. Another bird
Was there with him, and still remains.
Is there a thing too small to grieve?
Is there a soul too small to mourn?
A partnership too small to cleave
in whispered, cooing words besworn?
I don’t think so. This looked like love
and she’s there still, that mourning dove.