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JD Davis

ONCE

 

When I was six

I found a robin

in the barn

alone

near a cracked dirty window

shivering

on the black cinder floor

shaking

more afraid than I

who stood as alone.

My heart ached to hold her.

I caught her

in a newspaper

to keep from being pecked …

and took her outside

to admire.

She struggled

and strained …

one wing free

seeking the other.

Her breath

and its wing

beat to the pulse in my temple,

and my hands

for a moment

accepted her wish.

As my fists clutched the emptiness

left in my hands

she left …

in one beauty pass

and I think

I held that smile longer

than any pain I’ve held since.



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