Watch the bird

Watch the baby bird hop

To the edge of his mother's nest

Watch the bird listen

To his mother's words

Watch the bird

Watch the bird believe

Watch the bird trust, and believe in his mother's beliefs.

Watch the bird believe that he can fly.

Watch the bird tentatively test

The stability of twigs

For the first time outside his comfort zone, the nest

Listen

Hear the alarm bells going off inside

His tiny head.

Watch the bird

Watch the bird ignore his body's protests

Watch him take a deep breath and

Jump—

Quick, watch the bird

Watch him flap his tiny down-lined wings

Watch him panic and then reassure

Himself; his mother would not lie

He can fly

Indeed

And even if he couldn't—well

Then some higher power surely

Will reach out a hand and catch him

He thinks.

Quick, watch the bird

Watch the tiny blur

See the little silhouette

Stranded

Slow-motion suspended

For just one second

Caught

Midair above the crucifix

Then watch

Watch the bird

Watch the beady bird-eyes widen

In horror as he realizes

Mother was wrong

Mother lied

And he cannot fly

And no one is going to catch him.

Watch

Watch the bird

Watch the bird flap and watch him

drop.