Mockingbird This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

You squawk like a mock-crow
in your cardboard cradle,
pacing from corner to corner
through shavings, seeds, and excrement.
You carry your left leg crooked,
wings wet with nervous sweat.
You fell into the cold arms
of the pavement,
scuttling over the sidewalk
like a feathered lizard.

When I look at you,
you freeze in place,
peering at me through raisin eyes.
Left alone, you cry out for food
through your paper thin beak,
squawking too loudly for so small a bird,
no bigger than my fist.

I bear you in your box-home
back to the tree.
You try to fly away,
but cannot break free.
Something invisible holds you there.
All afternoon long, I sit on my porch,
watchful for neighborhood cats.
If I’m too near, your parents won’t take you back.

Still your mother swoops down to feed you,
your parents perch atop the cardboard nest,
worms dangling from their beaks like frayed threads.
They feed you till evening: they guard you now,
silent in the branches like pulsing gray statues.

At night, I tie your cardboard nest
to a narrow branch with twine;
the cats should not reach you here,
your parents will be near.
I can only say good night.

In the sunlight of the morning,
the box is still there,
but no chirping, no parents near.
I look inside your empty nest
and choose to believe
you have flown away.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Shelly-T said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 9:12 am
The emotional feeling of this piece is excellent, keep writing!
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