"Look," I murmured to the green bird crashed
on the balcony and filling half my hand now. "The forest
is still there. You can make it. You still know how."
The bird sat motionless. Only its beak opened
and closed without sound. A downy tuft
of yellow and white stuck sideways from its wing.
I stroked its head with one finger. It kept opening
and closing its beak without sound. From time to time
a slow film of blinking moved down its eye.
From inside the closed balcony door the cat watched
with surprising calm. My heart beat too was calm.
For a short while I knew everything, with certainty.
"You can do this," I murmured over and over and over,
and when the green bird flew into the nearest tree which was
indeed still there, I knew I had been talking to myself.
All rights reserved.
First published in The Linnet's Wings, Winter 2012, in slightly different form, with thanks to Nonnie Augustine.