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The Weekend of the Bird Apocalypse
Words by Daniela Buccilli
Friday, my husband chases the leapfrog flights of baby birds.
He lays each one back in the twig dish of a nest.
He scoops up one runt from under a forsythia branch when
the first saved thing breaks out to crash on the driveway rocks.
He could be at this saving all day and no one would live.
The adult robins squawk eye to eye with this man
grasping at their babies--
He leaves them to their suicides or genocide by crow.
Not even the parents stay to watch.
Saturday morning an adult tangled in the garden netting
bleeds at its ankles. He calls for scissors to unravel
the tortured bird’s legs. I watch him toss it into the air
with hopes of ascension. It flutters a flight that helps it reach shade.
Sunday, with bird in hand, he runs from the compost heap,
calling for Neosporin. The white gel dabbed on a wound
is not enough to keep a torn lung from flapping open. I see
clearly how the air that runs through my body may come out
from a wound in my back. The bird body breath moves the hairs
on his wrist. He holds the animal to squeeze it dead
and sets it down. He sits in silent horror, a kind of practice.
Monday, his father will die in a hospital bed,
no matter what, and birds re-build stick bowls
for new turquoise eggs. But in the middle of the panic
how could he have believed there would be an end.