January 4th, 2016 5:25 pm

“When will you have a little pity for every soft thing that walks through the world, yourself included?” Mary Oliver

The Titmouse

On the bitter winter ground
I found a small grey titmouse
With a broken wing.
As I stopped to consider
How I might help her,
It became apparent
That something else
Was also broken inside her,
And that she was dying.

It is the way of the world,
One animal will eat another animal,
And all animals,
(Including the human kind),
Eventually go back into the earth.
And yet
I could not leave her there,
To die alone in the snow.

I cradled her in my mittened hands
And warmed her with my breath,
Trying to make her
As comfortable as possible.
I hummed to her
And breathed a silent prayer
To the god of snow and spring
and small birds.

After a while, her eyes drifted closed.
She did not struggle or appear afraid.
She was beyond that now,
She was just infinitely tired
And wise,
In the way that things
Approaching a great mystery
Are often wise.

From A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays
by Carrie Newcomer

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