I held a catbird in my hand today.
It was soft and gray, still warm,
But the heart no longer beat.
The gray cat brought it to me.
He meant no harm,
And now it no longer dances in the bushes and flips its tail.
It no longer calls out in its mimic cat voice.
It is still, and gray, and warm, but cooling.
It is smaller than it seemed in life
And with the softest rust coloured patch beneath its tail.
I laid it in the tall grass away from the cats.
The ants and the beetles will have it.
It will go back to the dust.
We all go back to the dust.
Nora McDowell June 16, 2007