Octopus' Garden

Friday, May 09, 2008


Young swallow trapped in the upstairs landing by my back door.

At first, it was only an unidentified disconsolate rustling among the plastic sacks. Then a glimpse of tired wing. Pull back a box and a panicky twittered swooping around the bare light bulb before coming to rest on the wall. Something almost bat-like about the flat cling to vertical and the photographer's cape of dark wing.

It explained why the cats had been repeatedly clustering about the back door on and off throughout the day.

I propped open the door to the outside on the landing below, hoping the fresh air might guide the swallow back out. I tried to usher it down the stairs, but there was just more awful ricochet and bash.

Finally, I just scooped it up in a washcloth and took it outside myself. Scared to hold too tight or not tight enough. Small blunt head swiveling between my thumbs.

Outside, I set it down in the damp lawn. It seemed disoriented for a moment, but then launched itself crookedly into the pending storm.

How strange it was to hold something that wasn't meant to be held.

What a relief it was to be able to finally let it go.
posted by Artichoke Heart at 9:45 AM


Add a comment