To hold a damaged sparrow
under water until you feel it die
is to know a small something
about the mind; how, for example,
it blames the cat for the original crime,
how it wants praise for its better side.
And yet it's as human
as pulling the plug on your Dad
whose world has turned
to feces and fog, human as--
Well, let's admit, it's a mild thing
as human things go.
But I felt the one good wing
flutter in my palm--
the smallest protest, if that's what it was,
I ever felt or heard.
Reminded me of how my eyelid has twitched,
the need to account for it.
Hard to believe no one notices.
Stephen Dunn (Forest Hills, Queens, EE UU, 1939). Docente y poeta. Premio Pulitzer de Poesía.