The young dying bird

The magpie not yet grown,

body still a ball of fluff,

from its nest high

in a tall gum tree,

fell to earth

and sat on the

concrete man-made hard,

twisted body hurt,

and only able

to walk, to slide,  just

enough to move

but not get away.


Abandoned and alone,

vulnerable and weary,

it sat and squawked

and looked around

at this unfamiliar hostile place,

looked with a perspective on the earth

that it had never seen before.


And other birds

saw its deadly fall and came

to peck and pick at the baby,

and hasten the inevitable

deathly throes

that were wracking

its young and skewed body.


I came to look

at this specimen

of nature’s way

and see its plight;

and I knew that it

would never join

its feathered brethren

in the sky in flight

and live its life

surveying the earth

and swooping through

the trees and drifting

on the breeze.


Then, in a moment

of my curious gaze,

it turned its eye and,

looking forlorn,

gazed straight

into mine;

and it spoke,

but not in words:

it said in the fixity

of its eye that

its life was now

tied inextricably to mine.


And so I knew what must be done

for this young dying bird,

lying on its concrete grave.