TO A DYING BLUEBIRD
Morning blossoms out of nothing.
Snow on Christmas day – just enough
to lace the grass blades, to encase the
frigid dogwood, to make our yard
an oyster of nature’s perfect noel.
Day lurches forward on the fuel of its
own demise – paper scattered, piles
gathered, eggs and bacon heaped, then gone,
the whole day a fleeting feast of bounty incapable
of dispelling hunger, even as we gorge – time to eat,
then, inevitably, who’s got clean up?
A bang at dusk brings me to the storm door.
A quivering patch of dreamy, delicate blue lies
bleeding on the porch, lies dying, this mistaken
bluebird, on the threshold of our world, a downy
confection of snow slung at our storm door,
left here to melt.
Panging pity must be pushed aside.
A whisper in my father’s ear, the soft
enclosing orb of his boot-bottom will be
my gift to you, dying darling. I cannot
fathom what ecstatic visions bloom for you
as you flit into that white garden, as darkness
slowly swallows Christmas day.
Tanner Russo is a third-year law student at the University of Virginia School of Law and a graduate of the College of William & Mary. His poems have appeared in Whurk Magazine and The Compassion Anthology.