Late Spring

By Marion Agnew

July 21, 2014

Late Spring

Another chilly, overcast afternoon. From my nest on the sofa, I stare out the window at the yard, where dead grass outlines piles of dirty snow. The gray sky mutes any hints of greening in the pines and spruce. It would be a fine view in March or even early April. But it's mid-May, and I am as crusty and frozen as the lingering snow. 

A flash of brilliant yellow startles me; a thunk pulls me to the back window. On the porch lies a quivering feather ball, yellow mottled with dark gray-blue and black. A bird hit the window. Its breast feathers pulse, golden and glowing. 

The bird struggles twice, three times to right itself on bent-toothpick legs, then subsides. 

"Try again," I whisper. 

"Leave it alone," my husband warns. 

I will. But I won't—I know better than to attempt a rescue, but I also won't leave it alone. If the bird's dying, I will at least keep it company. 

I flip the pages of our bird book. The Magnolia Warbler's breathing has slowed. The chill breeze ruffles its feathers. Try again

Watching at the window, I honor its brightness. Feathers yellow as daffodils, ducklings, magical brick roads; brilliant as flaming torches, vibrant as summer mornings, cheerful as hot dog mustard on baseball game afternoons. 

Minutes pass. 

An abrupt hop and it's upright, glaring through its black mask above the vivid fluffed breast. Then its wings flash, and it flies. I exhale, fully thawed.


Photo "Warbler" provided by Marion Agnew.

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