as I was leaving seminary
I saw the bird there,
huddled on the ground -
no obvious injuries,
dazed and a bit stunned.
Birds fly into the windows
Sometimes they are stunned,
sometimes they die instantly,
sometimes they end up here,
huddled on the ground.
I couldn’t leave her on the concrete.
She couldn’t fly away.
Perhaps she knew I wasn’t going to hurt her,
as she didn’t try to get away.
She had pretty feathers,
she had pretty eyes,
she had a calm expression,
a gentle spirit.
She must have looked wonderful in flight.
But here she was;
she couldn’t fly,
she couldn’t even really stand.
I got a box from inside
and scooped her up.
I live an hour away
and have a friend who might help.
We drove along,
the usual radio noise silenced.
I talked gently to my feathered passenger.
She sat in the box.
I worried what I would do if I couldn’t reach my friend,
I worried about how I would take care of a bird.
How would my cats react to this intruder?
The bird said not word
as we drove into the night.
I said little silent prayers
and hoped God would listen,
and at one point God did.
My beautiful bird gave a short sweet sound,
closed her eyes and moved no more.
God brought his precious creature home.
I no longer had to worry about helping.
The little sound was not goodbye,
it was not thank you,
it was not meant for me.
I knew there were birds in the world
as we all do
but I had never known this bird was in the world
and now, she is no longer.
Her last moments were spent with me,
riding in the dark car,
safe from animals or others who might do harm;
she didn’t even know me
and that is just as well.
I hope she’s flying safely now
where glass will never fool her
where her songs may continue,
and I hope that one day I will hear them
and see her
so that I may say thank you to her.