Hard to Say

Hard to Say 

Who knows if it will live

or not—

the small baby robin

whose black speckled body

I lifted out of the hole

between the garden

and the basement window.


He heard the struggle,

my son—

whose thirteen years

of life experience

have accumulated into

a sad indifference

to its cries for help.


Instead of rushing

out the front door to investigate

the source of such commotion

he called to me

from the comfortable nest of his chair

in front of the computer screen.


“Something is dying

outside the window,” he said

with an unfamiliar voice

beginning to hatch and deepen.


When the tiny wings

fluttered out of my hands

into the motherless afternoon,

I felt its chances were as good

as the kid downstairs

who had made no effort yet

to fly.


DeMaris Gaunt



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