Stephanie McCarley Duggar

My dog approaches,   a baby bird clutched in her mouth.

Impossible to tell

if it drowned   in its nest in the gutter         during the rainstorm last night

or if it fell out                                      and she found it alive.

I dreamt this, or something like it:                  my husband and I parents

to a newborn redbird.              A hawk swooped in                a community

of birds surrounded the predator        drove it from the nest

in a cloud of frantic wings.                                          I only watched

enamored by the hawk’s desire to eat something so small               so new.

I didn’t join in stopping it.

When the hawk was gone, I turned to my newborn         lying wrapped in a                blanket

nestled                         in a crib high up.

I wished I had never had a child.

To save her from choking on the hollow bones,

I try to take the dead hatchling from my dog.

                                                                                              Drop it, I demand

                             and hear the crunch                 of her keeping it from me.