20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

Into the Open


Birds sound in the birch tree outside my window,
squawks and caws of blue jays and ravens,
the familiar “birdie birdie” of the cardinal,
a “tut tut” from a robin, and the occasional
“hoo hoo” of the turtle dove

They go about their days
never making note of my coming
and going, buildiing their nests,
laying their eggs, hatching helpless
babies with no announcement
of their arrival

Kids find a baby bird on the
sidewalk, hairless, eyes still closed,
too soon outside the protection of
its egg.  They try in vain to save it,
pour water over its tiny body,
baking in the afternoon sun, feed
worms into its gaping mouth, gasping
for its final breath.  They place its body
into last year’s fallen nest and forget
about it, on to enjoy their next adventure

The turtle dove sits on my windowsill
for at least an hour, peering nervously yet
never offering to depart, dark eyes piercing,
she stares, unblinking, and I stare at her,
and together we ponder what to do,
remain here on this ledge contemplating
each other and the world beyond,
or take flight, entrust the wind to carry us
on its back, permit the ground
to soften falls along the way, when,
startled, I break our gaze to look
behind me, and turning back
to my companion outside the screen,
I find that she is gone

©SpiritLed 2014


He is almost five
happily singing to himself
in the backseat
while I smile
into the rear view. He never sees
knuckles turn white, nor my foot
easing off the gas.
Wheels disregard, tug us
across dotted lines
the sign-our-names,
dots and dashes,
blips on a heart monitor,
S.O.S., MayDay, MayDay
Sonnez les matines!
I send up a silent prayer,
or flare to God, whomever
might be listening,
watch over us!
while seconds expand and contract
their own irregular heartbeat,
and risk shoves the well-planned aside.


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