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When Baby Sparrows Fall

By John I. Blair

What do I do
When baby birds persist
In leaping from their nest,
Plummeting to my patio,
Then wiggling helpless,
Featherless, blind,
Without a clue or hope?

Do I stare at them in alarm,
Lying there, dying there?

Do I scoop them quickly
Out of sight and mind,
A premature contribution
To the compost heap behind my shed?

Do I transport them without ruth
To exposed slabs so
Blue jays, crows, rats
Can come to sup on fresh meat?

Or do I, probably in vain,
Trying to be kind and cause no harm,
Pick them up, one at a time—
Their fat little bellies,
Flailing wings and legs,
Limp heads in my warm palm—
Climb up the house side
And stuff them back,
There, most likely,
To expire, but at least
Calmed by the smell of home?

©2003 John I. Blair

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