Spelling D-E-A-D

We spell the words we don’t want him to hear
the words that are profane
which this one is.
One as young as he should not know this word.

We protect him from what will come
and are relieved to see that the bird that we saw this morning,
the one with the bent back wing and scream,
is gone when we get home.
Nature will not protect him though.

It is as if someone was watching us
and reached down to another bird’s nest
to brush out a younger deformed bird.
He watches you as you pick up the tiny remains and put them in a plastic bag.
He knows by the way you handle the bag that this is not trash
We don’t tell him what it is
not yet.

5 responses to “Spelling D-E-A-D

  1. I gotta say that I’m lost. I thought the bird was dead, did you pick him up or is it a metaphor. What’s the scream? Why did someone pick up a younger, deformed bird?

    • 2 birds. One is badly injured (causing the chirp to become a scream). The second bird is dead and being removed. Both birds are acting as a symbol, more than a metaphor, that, despite our best intentions to shelter the innocent from pain and death, we cannot.

      However, if other readers didn’t get this, I need to rewrite. I’d love to hear from others on this.

  2. I like your words. I understand the message and that death and other subjects we feel the young should be shielded from but, as parents, who best to teach?

  3. That does seem to be the question. The urge to protect is so much stronger than the desire to teach. I know that parents are the best to teach, however, we are too busy shielding them to notice that they know and (sometimes) perpetuate the things we are trying so hard to hide.

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