It struggled, grounded, brown and ug-
Ly, overtipped from its nest limb
Where two who fed it worm and bug
Were perched and grackle-cursing him.

He, walking out from where small shoe
Prints still, to him, were clear to see
In the dark front-room carpet, knew
He couldn’t climb the nestling’s tree

With bird in hand, parents and child
Helpless before what had to come
That night, green-eyed and alley-wild
While darkness held them, he hoped, numb.

Tomorrow, would they know their nest
Was short one brown and unnamed head,
Or, lucky birds, care for the rest,
Remembrance of the lost one dead?