by the frenetic flight
and non-stop feedings
of last night, the time was near
for babes to launch before their parents
dropped from sight, exhausted to the tip of every feather.
Just when I think they can't keep pace
another day, it stops in no uncertain way
and quiet shrouds the garden.
Their house is empty.
In vain I scan the sky
for birds in sight
instead I find cloud-balls of
down resting on the ground nearby,
Heaven knows, we all drag some
baggage with us as we go
upon our way.
When I was ten, our neighbors moved to Missouri.
That night, I walked in
through an unlocked door
and roamed the silent hall
and rooms where just a week before
such easy fun was had,
vacant now, and they were off
to their new lives and friends,
even still I feel a little lost upon
remembering that day.
Fledging is tough on mama birds,
that morning when their babies find the sun
and in their jubilation fly
off to California.
Someday, your babes will wave goodbye,
and you may feel the same as I
so very much.
(C. Healy, 2019)