Children clamor to share each moment
as if they were clutched in their hands,
soon to disappear if left unspoken.
If a hand opened too soon,
the thought flew away on another’s breath,
never to be recaptured.
A fledgling, feathers still ruffled
from not being old enough to preen…
a bird too soon fallen from its nest,
too new to chirp, too new to do anything
but open his mouth, as if soundlessness
were a chirp he could speak.
Feeble flutterings, as
the children speak in whispers.
Sad, quiet sounds of a funeral performed…
the bird snuggled in a soft blanket of tissues,
neatly fitted in a box.
gentle stroking sounds.
Death not quite ready to be translated.
Years before, mother had buried a cat.
Soft, black and white fur…
two front paws clutching a catnip ball
in its permanent sleep…
a sober sound of barely heard grief
cried for the love of a part of her life…
an innocence snuggled against her breast.
Mewing sounds coming in gasps,
Another fledgling never learning to walk,
never lifting his arms
in delight of his father coming home.
Never becoming hidden. Or lost.
Now, little faces turn to her,
hands clutching dirt,
the oldest asking
could he say a prayer.
Would God mind?
No, she said, remembering the cat.
He would be there.
Wasn’t He always?