Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
How to Hold a Bird

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My son held a bird
today on a class trip to the nature center.
At home, with an empty hand, he demonstrates
how to hold a bird using just three fingers
so as not to hurt the bird and
so it can't hurt itself with its flapping.
The middle knuckle on his hand is scabbed over
from a playground punch thrown last week that missed its soft target
and hit the slide.
It is growing harder to hold the little body, quivering, enraged—
wrapped tight,
so it can't hurt itself with its flapping.


Verna Kale is Associate Editor of the Hemingway Letters Project and Assistant Research Professor in English at the Pennsylvania State University.


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So beautiful.
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