Encased in plastic, glass and metal,
windows up and safe within the artificial
bubble of music and filtered air,
I slammed into the real world today
when seven sparrows crossed my path
in a rush, swooping around the lone black hoodlum
of a crow, naked sparrow babe dangling from it’s mouth.
No lion downing a gazelle or wolf pack dropping an elk
could have been more dispassionate than that crow,
unflappably winging its way across my windshield
to Pink Floyd’s wailing guitar. The movie that played there
was witness to a snapshot of a desperate family’s
vain attempt to save the life of one of its children.
If they succeed, I thought as our paths diverged, then what?
No feathered hand could lift that defenseless infant back
to the warmth under mother’s wing again. No NSPCA
member would tell the other predators
in the bushes to stand down. No downy hero
would wait below to break the fall.
I take a shallow breath now for this
one tiny, naked victim in a large tragic world.
We will all be alone in the beak of our own crow one day,
no matter how many loved ones circle us
or cry out, mute on the other side of the glass.