Wings of the Shadow

My father hates you
And your terrible, ceaseless racket.
Always dressed in black to match
the trembling shadows your friends throw upon the ground.

Stationed on the back porch
my eyes flit between 9, 12 and 3 o’clock.
I miss all your friends
hit the feeders you frequent instead.

And then I see you
perched on the edge of my 12:05.

I aim.

I miss.

But when you don’t flinch
I squeeze the trigger again
and finally, you scream.

Your friends are silent.

You fall thousands of miles to earth
hopping in the dust, your mouth agape.
Your wing is useless, so you flee on tiny feet
and I greedily give chase.

I tower over you
wonder if your friends are watching
from branches you’ll never reach again.
Still you scream.
I aim again.

You don’t bleed, just lay frozen in mid-flight
silenced by invisible spheres of death
and for the first time
I see beauty in your broken wings.

Before we wrap you in a bag, black and shiny just like you
before we dump you in the trash
you stare forever up at me
and I weep for the shadow I’ll never see again.

© Andi Dobek 2015

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