At the edge of the cactus garden
between the rocks
moist earth shrouds her feathered bones.
Only yesterday, I gave the gentle farewell,
commending body to earth and spirit to sky,
planted her among the rocks beside the mint,
the fuchsias, basil, oregano.
The begonias whispered with the thyme
about the young bird’s clattering fall
into the droop of geraniums barely pink,
a window box hint of spring.
Paused there, at my window, confused by the impact,
the blue-eyed stare. No gray dove notes sounded, but
fluffing fledgling wings, it turned
to contemplate the fall.
I, a nervous mother, watched
the stumbling lurch toward outer wall.
High in the lucuma tree, a bird moved to follow.
I felt the sigh when her fledgling caught a garden breeze
and floated briefly toward the sky.
A different bird greeted this dawn
in an old dog’s mouth.
Another fledgling Lima dove
whose spirit just flew south.