Dislocated ruff of the Carolina sparrow:
she wasn’t hungry—she went for the heart,
my mother says of my Russian blue.
She wants me to inspect the dead bird
as if it were a confirmation of guilt,
and when I can’t, throws the mouthed bits
over the fence into the cow pasture.
It’s probably a mother with a nestof eggs, she says,
turning this small sorrow over and over
like a wound in need of licking. The tulips’
red chalices wave empty in relentless April
sunshine. Now flecks and foam of blood
seem to edge the lawn in flags: hyacinth
cut low in the grass by wind, or a body
grown reckless from weariness, abandon.