emma b. says

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I was sitting in my father's study earlier, trying to wrest my thoughts from the murk of anesthesia when a bird flew into the window at my eye line just beyond the monitor.

I threw open the door and ran down the stairs and there it was a gross beak, a beautiful little bird, yellow striations and white spots, a fierce little mask and it was dying.

I ran back into the house and grabbed a wad of paper towels and a zip lock bag and I thought I should take the kitchen mallet, but I couldn't.

I ran back down the stairs to where the bird lay, and I wept uncontrollably, inconsolably because I could not kill it, I could not kill this frail, lovely creature and ease it's pain. I watched it die, helpless and angry that I could not order my clumsy fingers to be quick and throrough, and I cried and I cried. It flipped onto it's side, it's tiny claws already in rictus and then it's light blinked out and the bird was gone.

My mother found me there, at the base of the stairs, in the heat with the corpse of a small bird at my feet, sweating through my sutures, furious at my lack of stoicism to be able to grant these small mercies.

More later on the surgery, suffice it to say the old girls are off and the new ones are stitched. I can't say more than that because I have not had the courage to look, and can't really as I am bandaged like a mummy....


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