Soon Enough, The Keening Will Stop
The blue jay chick, whether flushed from the nest
by starlings or merely lost his balance, one of the edge’s
inherent risks, fell to the grass. I could have saved him.
He fluttered his unfledged wings and hopped through
the weeds while his parents swooped, diving at me.
They shrieked and shrieked as if this tragedy
was all my fault. This is the helpless sound a mother
makes, keening and keening a name when she loses
her child in a crowd. I wanted to run to the baby
and scoop him up. I wanted to cup him in my palm
until I could tuck him in a box. I wanted to make
a mock nest out of twigs and leaves. I wanted to hand-feed
him. Instead, I stood on the patio at dusk and watched
as the infant wander into the shadows of the forest.