today I watched a swallow die.
a pretty bird, a silly bird.
dressing herself in his colours so bright
wearing his smiles and sentences
looped around her neck like
strands of spun gold.

the windowpane cracks into
jagged spiderwebs
that curl themselves into things
you were supposed to say
pretty bird, silly bird
she just never thought to learn.

and when she quietly stopped breathing
tiny feathered heart stopped beating,
it calls back memories
of this has happened before.
pretty bird, silly bird
a kind of reflective practice
watching herself through hindsight.

pretty bird, silly bird.
learn to read deeper
into the reflection.

but darling, she'll sing for you any day.