DOA at the WRC

I open the garage door, walk around the car, and stop in my tracks.  There you are, a puff of feathers, right where the garage door meets the floor.  A half-strangled squeal works its way out of my throat.  You blink.

The Big E asks me what’s going on.  He peers at you with concern, says you look cold.  Mama you should take it to that place.  I will Sweetie, don’t worry.

I find a vintage aluminum coffee pot in the garage, a retired sandbox toy waiting to go to the thrift shop.  I make you a nest of cabbage leaves riddled with slug holes.  They curl around your fragile body.

We drop The Big E at the curb.  I watch him run, backpack clanking against his sturdy frame.  Through the entrance, turn to the right, and up the stairs.  I see him framed in the window, weaving his way to the classroom.

You’re quiet.  We drive past D & C Food & Gas, through the smorgasbord of Roseville cemeteries, beyond the B Dale Club (meat raffle Wednesdays, public welcome).  I turn off the radio, afraid I’ve blasted out your delicate acoustic organs.

I’m never exactly sure of the location of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center but I always find it.  My last visit was for a baby squirrel discovered at the corner of Lexington and Osceola at the base of a massive oak tree.  All alone and petrified with fear.

I park the car and open the hatch.  One look and I know you’re dead, neck stretched back, eyes closed, one appendage sticking straight out.  An impossible avian yoga pose:  Upward Facing Broken Wing.

I go in anyway, followed by a woman cradling a bunny who’d been mauled by her dog.  I fill out the paperwork.  House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), DOA.  The woman assures me that they will take care of you.  I envision your tiny headstone (2Fly2Die ?-2013).

On the way home I wonder if Katy Perry killed you.  Were you trapped in the garage?  Did the door squash you?  How is it possible for natural selection to work properly with humans in the mix?

I’m sorry you’re dead.  I’m sorry for whatever part I unwittingly played in your demise.  And I’ll try to make my earthly footprint less destructive, turn my reckless roar into a gentle purr.

Musical Moment



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