While the rain slick wicks away
from the fringe weeds and shrinks
into dark-limned concrete continents,
limbed with withered peninsulas,
the wings reveal themselves, the head.
Less a bird than a totem, feathers
not feathered, wings unpinioned,
disjointed. An artistic interpretation,
chalk outline, left on the driveway
by the billow and shock of the storm
the sun sundered. Sudden things, struck
from the sky to shrivel in waste.
The throws of the grounded blast
tore down part of the rotting tree
and left this puppet of a hatchling,
unstringed, grey on orange, down-puffed,
mouth a tangerine rind slit to cry.
It may have crashed here, one bounce
and broken, or it may have been
dashed to the uncut grass with the
shatter of branches that, singed,
flew free, perching in their drop
in frames of flash, plummeting
staccato, and cracked akimbo
like a body wrecking in ratchets
down stairs. If it escaped that
scatter of limbs, walked away, safe,
then this is how far pluck carries.
Halfway across a driveway is
all survival's worth. All bodies
shellshocked curl into a shrug.