Mother Bird

by silvershoes   Oct 28, 2021

She raised them as her single hobby,
Clipping their wings to prevent them from growing up too soon,
Though she knew only to herself, and in that, only a breathless whisper, that too soon would be soon enough.

When her young finally flew the nest because she could no longer prevent it;
Adult fledglings, as they were, fell from the sky, clipped wings and all, caught up in brambled bushes.

Their wings were frayed but still they squawked with glee for freedom.

Mother looked down upon them,
Seething from a quickening growth of resentment like a tumor,
Harboring a double edged hope that her sons would soar to the tippy tops of the trees, then fall to the earth for having singed their wings like Icarus.
(She kept the second edge her secret)

She needed them to need her.
Who was she without their need?
Despite her wishes, flapping furiously, they learned to stay airborne,
Their unused muscles eager to learn a song long suppressed.
Fast they became composers.
Mother watched their music unfold, terrified, found she could not follow their tune though she tried.

She had lost her ability to fly.

Her courage dissipated with the abandonment of her clutch;
Though was it ever courage and not fear?
Cawing out to the forest,
Frantically calling to bring them home,
She stays locked in a prison of her own making.

She stews in a nest built for three,
Housing one.

She catches glimpses of her sons diving in the wind for joy,
Making love and making home without her.

In her loneliness and her jealousy, she wishes them well,
But not too well.
And maybe not well at all.


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