Bird Dog

Pamela Moore


watching from the kitchen window

i saw the spotted dog intent

upon some fragile compulsion he licked

and nudged at what he held to the ground so delicately

a bird a nestling

blown from some protected place tossed

by the north wind like water from a cup

still feathered a speckled brown

a robin

not yet breasted in coral

the dog held and licked its fluttering chest

lost in the perfect smell he

didn’t bite or tear no he just

licked until the feathers and then

the very down came free

licked until the head came down and the eyes

turned milky

licked until the twitching stopped even then

he held it gently and would not give it up to me

but crouched above it as if nesting an egg and seemed ashamed

that his weighty love had caused its death

in anger then in guilt

i pried it from him and thought at times

i have been like this robin smothered

by possessive love

then spoke again to myself yes

then again yes i’ve been sometimes like

this dog

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