Sometimes writing helps us heal. It gives us perspective and a space to put down our feelings. Again, like so many of my other pieces, this one is still being molded, especially the ending...
It was a beautiful spring day as he walked through the woods. The sunlight streaked through the new growth. Not a cloud in the baby-blue sky. He stopped and listened. There were so many birds singing their songs, flitting from branch to branch.
Then, he noticed a small bird. One that he had never seen before, dancing gracefully on the ground. He had almost missed her. She blended in—no special colorings, no distinguishing features—but he knew in his heart she was special.
He watched her for a couple of moments. Her unaware of his presence. Then, she disappeared in an instant. He searched but could not find her, so he returned to his stroll.
The next day, the path called to him. His thoughts were on the bird: What did she eat? Where did she sleep? Did she have a mate? He hurried to the last place he had discovered her. Then stopped. There she was, skittering on the forest floor.
He thought to himself, “She is just a simple bird.” As he watched, he was mesmerized by her playfulness, her resourcefulness, her beauty. Then, she was gone. He trudged home.
The next day before going into the wild he brought with him different seeds and fruits. Maybe she would like these? I could provide for her so she won’t waste her precious energy. He got to the spot—their spot—and laid out the foods like a picnic. Then sat and waited.
She cautiously hopped over but did not take one offering. He was disappointed, but he knew he had to earn her trust. She was a wild animal after all—they can be wary, especially one who has so many predators.
He returned day after day with more treats. Sitting still and waiting for the opportunity for her to let down her guard and return his attention…
This day was cooler. The leaves rustled. Winter was on its way. He worried about the bird: What will she eat? Where will she sleep? Will she fly away? They had bonded spending the summer days with each other. He even got the chance to hold her. She was warm. Her sleek body touched him softly, molding perfecting in his hands. He could not bear the thought of her in danger. Yes, he needed to protect her from this world!
She came into view, and he looked at her in awe. She was frolicking in the underbrush. The sunlight glimmered off her brown plumage. His heart skipped a beat, and he knew he must save her.
The cage quickly engulfed her without warning. Desperate chirps escaped her as her prison moved gently back and forth through the falling leaves to the beat of his footsteps. But the other birds were silent. They did not want to be bothered. Happy to be rid of the competition. She had done this to herself! The way she flirted in the undergrowth. She was not like them. Birds were supposed to fly for their next meal.
He proudly opened the door and set her on the table. “You have a home now. You will be safe.”
There are two different directions I want to go with this. End the poem now or have the bird escape. I came across this quote in a book by Emily Nagaski, Ph. D., about healing, and it gave me inspiration on how I might end the poem differently…
“At last she said, ‘It’s like… I’m sitting with a stunned bird in the palm of my hand. If I get tense and try to hurry it, it will just stay frozen. But if I’m still and patient long enough, the bird will wake up and fly away’.”