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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 3, September 2016

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Marcyn Del Clements
Claremont, California, USA


Warbler

I find a bird's egg—hold it in my hands to keep it warm—feel the life within it stir. It begins to crack. I cheer it, Come on! You can do it! Finally the cracking is complete, the baby bird hatches himself. I sing to him, Hello Birdie, Birdie, Birdie! He bonds to me instantly, burrows into my neck, his little body seeking the warmest spot on me. I mix up some thin pablum with bone meal and feed it to him with an eye dropper. He gets it all over his feathers and has to have a bath—every time. Soon he is eating by himself, bathing from a shallow bowl, trying to fly. I find him spiders and gnats and sow bugs. Accidentally I leave the side door open and he hops out into the sun—flies to the back wall. Panic grips my lungs. But he isn't ready to leave yet and I take him back inside, riding on my finger. Now his feathers are fully grown, suiting him perfectly. I can see what he is now—a warbler, with grey feathers and a hint of gold. And I know it won't be long now. When I wake—the morning is cold and grey.

morning birds
I can tell each one
by its song

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