Poem for a Nestling

Softly, yet urgently, your little voice would call:
“Wake up, I’m hungry! Too helpless, too small!”
I learned to listen to the music of your kind,
Awake at three, silent by nine,
Discerning your voice in the symphony of sound,
As only a mother knows a little one found.
The ants would dance, the arachnids linger,
Dangling o’er the nest of the aspiring singer.
As if to teach the one not yet learned,
To look for food, she so playfully yearned.
An oversized mouth poised to capture, in her body tiny,
A rainbow of berries, bananas, and arthropods shiny.
I watched you observe the meaning of notes,
To fly or to chatter, each call required quotes
From your ancient book, others taught and did foster
And transmit to you, although orphaned, no imposter!
I taught you to perch, spread your wings, yet not flying,
Moving through the air, your but young feathers trying.
I wanted your freedom, its fullness, its vision.
Alas, your life would be taken. No flight. No mission.
And so the sweet little one, who laid in state
While I yet grasping, your return futilely did wait
And still, knowing you could ne’er rise up from the dead,
I finally did bury your body instead
Of the life that was given to you to explore,
And enjoy and fulfill, envisioning heights to soar.
Other birds watched solemnly the shovel appear,
Alighting on the bush with your bed to be near,
As I laid you to rest, your soul yet blessed,
You were taken too soon from your mother’s nest.

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