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What to Make of It

2009 April 14
by J. Scott Mosel

You should have seen the faces of the onlookers
as I tried to bring the bird back to life.

I figured this was my chance to make something
of myself: a life-changing chance to give life.

After all, this was Easter week:  I knew M street
could survive another resurrection.

First, I rubbed its torso down the length
of its beauty, careful not to disturb the feathers.

I noticed how my fingers could not sense
death:  like a lover, sometimes they are the last to know.

Then, I pulled its claws and let go —
I watched them delicately spring back

into place — rigor mortis
had not set — it sets, like the light we tender

as ours, but here, on this patch of sidewalk,
I let go of my desire and watched its colors

fade — the same light in the same way
that will someday claim mine.

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. April 15, 2009

    I always seem to write dead animal poems around Easter. Lovely poem, Scott!

  2. April 15, 2009

    Very beautiful poem. I love it. The opening stanza is absolutely perfect.

    and:

    I noticed how my fingers could not sense
    death: like a lover, sometimes they are the last to know.

    (this might be my favorite line!)

    I let go of my desire and watched its colors

    fade–the same light in the same way
    that will someday claim mine.

    Delicious.

    How are your MFA plans going? :) You should definitely go for one.

  3. April 15, 2009

    Thank you for the inspiring comments Sarah and Suzanne. I am becoming more and more pleased that my wife pointed out this beautiful work of nature lying in our path the other day. Photographs seem to be a great starting point for other forms of art. I should take my camera everywhere, forcing myself to record!

  4. April 18, 2009

    I know what you mean about photographs..that bird looks beautiful..this is sad though. Nice one-

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