This morning on the way to work, trying to go slow, mind racing, so much to do,
There in the road something small,
Did I miss . . .?
Walking back to find
a tiny turtle, head in, then out, trying to get away,
My hand gently moves it to the grass.
Later in the afternoon, one errand down, and then I will do this and this and this, and then,
in the parking lot, a brown blur, wings flapping, squawking bird,
I pick it up,
small heart and breath pounding against my fingers,
Spot of blood on the neck,
eyes wide at me,
I don’t know what to do.
I turn in circles, holding hurting bird.
I place it in the shadows of a bush.
Big world leaves me helpless,
small ones cry for care each day.
I saved the turtle but not the bird.
But they called
and today at least
In the evening, a truck sits in the same place I parked,
the turtle I placed in the grass this morning is long gone.
In its place is a car, red and broken, wedged between trees.
An occupant sits on the pavement,
his face, red and broken, wedged between the hands of a man on his knees
who stopped to help.
It is his truck parked where I helped the small one hide.
A woman stumbles from the car.
I hear a child crying inside.
The mountain blocks the cellphone call
So I race home to dial 911.
Above me, pink scars run across the sky.
I see the face of a man who sits where I swerved to miss the small one.
October 3, 2007