by Jake Barnes

We got out of the car, walked up the road a ways. I carried the cage. She put on a big glove, reached in and captured the bird. It perched on her fingers, looked at me with owl eyes. I felt guilty. Sins of omission and commission.


She tossed the big bird into the air. It wobbled, then flew away. Through the gnarled branches of oak trees. She wouldn't go far, my friend said. She was born in these woods. She was where she belonged.


I thought to myself that there is wisdom in that. We retraced our steps, put the cage in the truck of her car and drove down the hill to where my car was parked. As I drove away, I waved goodbye.