by Darius McCaskey

I touched you then,

knowing it was foolish:

knowing you'd likely fly away.

My hand extended casually toward your perch.

You surprised me then,

climbing onto my finger:

climbing into my heart.

Your long, cobalt body felt weightless on my hand.

The wind gusted then,

pulling at your wings:

pulling you away from me.

You clung to me with all your tiny might.

Your wings shimmered then,

glistening in the summer sun:

glistening as you fought the wind.

My ears caught the sound of the pond's gentle ebb.

I shielded you then,

blocking the desperate breeze:

blocking the radiant light.

You never had to stay, but you did anyway.

Your strength failed then,

carrying you away from me:

carrying you far away.

You showed me the futility of holding on.