I’d like to know, my darlings,
if you felt pushed to grow, and
spread your wings, as it were,
to tumble to the ground outside
a dormitory at a school in a city
far from all that you knew?
Was it hard to find food, warmth
friends, and interest in all you did
though it wasn’t always what you
wanted, a way to make a small room
and a complete stranger feel safe
enough as a temporary home?
Were you fledged enough then and
full of confidence, or did it seem
the farcical pin feathers you sprouted
would never lift you high enough
to see what was coming or where
in the world you might be going?
I ask, my dears, now that you are
fully on your own, building nests far
from mine, as this is launching day for
the tiny sparrows who live above my
door and now spill from the warm cup
of twigs that’s held them since egghood.
I put them back, of course, and within
an hour they were out again and gone.
I begged them to say something as I searched
the grass, but soon I knew they would not
peep for me; I am not their mother, and
their future is in other hands than mine.
I’m your mother, though, and this
tableau of nature’s severity takes my
breath and makes me wonder if you feel
that your launching was appropriate,
and when you hatch chicks will you
choose to deviate or do the same?
© Dana Hughes 4.20.18