I brought the fuchsia inside,
staving off frost’s lethal touch.
The gardenias you planted,
green leaves poking out of pine straw,
can withstand the cold.
Pansies in clay pots will thrive.
You, will spend another night
watching over your father –
your presence more comforting
than all the flowers smiling by the bed.
While the temperature drops outside
you will catch a few hours sleep in a chair,
some part of you alert to approaching winter.
After you left,
a thud interrupted my grief.
Outside my window
a bird lay motionless,
caught unaware by the glass ,
outstretched wings now folded shut.
Wrenched out of myself
I found a shoe box,
lined it with a kitchen towel,
and set the bird inside,
not knowing if I had made a place
for recovery or a box for death.
Back inside I watched, waited,
my pain suspended.
Like a child I thought
Please don’t die, little bird.
And it didn’t.