by David Solway (October 2015)
And again with their wings against your windows…
Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, “Rima LIII,” Book of the Sparrows
It sat on the edge of the highway
near enough to the landscaped margin
to provide a touch of irony,
wings folded the way a spectator
folds his arms as if to gauge
the contestants in any event.
I slowed down for an instant, conscience
on the brakes, expedience
in the rearview mirror, then slammed
the gas pedal to the floor. The car
spurted wings and flew down the very
same highway. It was only an instant
but long and bright enough to reveal
the blink in its bird’s-eye view from below.
The small head turning calmly observed
the traffic: no revving of feathers,
stalled by a thunderous exit, it
awaited the outcome as in uninvolved.
I had good reasons for not stopping:
the traffic, the bird was half-dead anyway,
I had to get home before rush hour,
what did I know about broken wings?
Today I passed the bird again, now
tossed on a shore of gravel, abandoned
like a small boat or a bottle
without a note in it, wings spread
like a crack in the windshield, as hushed
and startling as a verdict.
David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. His forthcoming volume of poetry, Installations, will be released this fall from Signal Editions. A partly autobiographical prose manifesto, Reflections on Music, Poetry and Politics, is slated for later this year with Mosaic Press. A CD of his original songs, Blood Guitar and Other Tales, appeared last summer. Solway’s current projects include work on a second CD with his pianist wife Janice and writing for the major American political sites such as PJ Media, FrontPage Magazine, American Thinker and WorldNetDaily.
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