By Mary Jane Wilkie

As I approached the building, it was there,
on the threshold, wedged (by its own efforts)
between the door and the door jamb.

A small bird, brown/gray like many,
moving slightly
(or I would not have seen it).

Not knowing what to do,
I opened the door and
it flew—or rather fluttered—
into the building,
quickly finding the place
where the elevator door meets its frame,
wedging itself in,
always on the ground.

With a scarf,
I picked it up and took it outside,
laying it on the grass.

By then, it had died, so
I covered it with
the leaves of the ground cover
that shares space with the grass.

Only later did I realize that
when we die,
we want to be enfolded,
protected on as many sides as possible.

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