by Erika Byrne-Ludwig

    Warm, mossy, smelly, secure nest. Motherbird sits in its worn hollow, wing by wing with her nestling.

    “Time to fly,” she says with a peck.

    He begs, nudges her plumage.

    “Tututut, your wings are ready.” She pokes him firmly. “Let's try another branch today. Me first.”

    Birdling staggers to the edge, flaps his timorous wings, misses the tree. Falls, twirling right down to the undergrowth.

    She peers below, hears his calls. “You'll learn,” she chirps, blithely flying away.

    Birdling starts venturing around, sees his reflection in a puddle, pecks his image, reaches for a branch.

    He sees a yellow moth.

    He sees a green sky.