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ENDURANCE
 

I never saw it 
happen, 
never saw them leave the nest.

For weeks I watched 
the couple, 
male and female, feeding their young.

From the time, embedded, 
the sun came up 
striking, vivid, across their world,

he would light on a branch 
and flutter his wings 
within sight of his house

with an insect larva 
like a snip of thread, 
until she came out into the sun,

and he would enter 
that entrance O
though I never saw what happened then.

Regardless, he emerged and sang 
his particular song, 
and she would return with something-whole.

All day long this went on, 
and then they were gone. 
I never saw a fledgling perch

and make that leap-
beat the air 
and reach that unfinished rail on the fence.

I never saw each 
individual 
child struggle toward a life of flight,

never saw one fall, 
bewildered to the ground, 
and be caught up by a passing cat-

despite its parent's 
persistent dives-
nothing ever that frightening.

I never heard that partial cry, 
and then they were gone.
 
 

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