Dead Bird Uncovered by Spring

by Will Shade

Left by a melting snowbank:

Cup lids, pine needles, a cairn of dog shit,

And the grey soggy shape

Of an eyeless winter bird.


His breast is an old accordion

Gone to rot in an old attic,                                                                       

What is left of his feathers the bearer

Of a watery workshop clay.


Songs may have parted

His tiny, straining beak,

But the frail reptilian legs

Broken to one side


And the one broken, extended wing

Laid on the soiled snow

Lend him an air of the graphic,

The ancient and hieroglyphic.


In rivulet, bud, and shoot,

Petal and pistil,

Rumors of growth are spreading

Old messages of renewal


As the bird melts into the bank

And the bank melts into the street

Like a secret slip of paper

A child folds smaller and smaller.