I smell the fresh, clean air of the back garden, now strewn
with branches, fallen during the overnight storm.
Glancing to my left I see two small innocent faces
framed in the window of our kitchen.
Noses pressed so hard against the glass their breath has steamed
up their images that, on another day, would have been funny.
Taking a few short steps I notice a small, injured bird
laying on it’s side and quite lifeless. I pick it up.
It is a wee Robin and it’s head sways from side to side.
To be certain I stroke it’s chest gently with my pinky.
Again I glance up at the window to see two concerned children
in floods of tears. I look up and the rain begins to fall.
Cradling the bird in both hands I lift it up to my ear
showing the children that I am doing all that I can.
Of course I hear nothing, what life there had been has long gone.
The rain gets heavier and soaks me. Momentarily I am at a loss.
It takes but a split second to decide on the action.
Using both hands I launch the Robin into the morning sky.
I alone hear it land over the hedge.
I surprised myself with the choice that I made,
that a lie was preferable to a crushing truth.
poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2012