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: