truth is a pounded penny worth less than what it took to make it

The fledgling fell from the neighbor’s rafters.

It landed in soft (but hardly softly) in photosynthetic debris:

old hops, retired brambles, and tall grasses hunkered

down for the duration of summer.


Or so maybe this is what I know for certain:

Tilly, the labrador-rottweiler mix,

lifted dead fledglings from the earth

in her soft mouth before trotting my way.

3 bodies were delivered in one afternoon.

I wondered at the casualties.

I wondered from whence they came.


But let me revise.

Last summer, I saw Tilly pad toward me on the patio

with a small body, naked but for wet feathers

and loud veins, caught between her teeth.

There was no sorrow or celebration in her eyes.

And because I did not want to believe her a killer

of the winged, I chose to believe in the second name of her first breed:

retriever.

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