Dead Bird

Roger Rosenblatt

Yesterday afternoon, I heard a thud coming from the area of the kitchen. When I went to look, a dead bird was lying on the deck outside my glass door. The door had killed the bird, who must have mistaken the glass for open air in the bright sunshine. The bird’s body left an imprint on the glass, vague and lacy, like a smoke ring from a cigarette. The imprint made a nearly complete circle, except for a smudge at the top where the bird’s head may have hit. I don’t know about birds. This one was colorful—green, orange, and brown—like a mallard duck, though it was smaller than a duck. The little guy lay on its back on the deck, and when I picked it up with a paper towel, to put it in a plastic bag, the bird was heavier than I’d anticipated. It had heft and substance. Only when I had tossed it in the trash, and returned to my door, did I notice the imprint on the glass. It was there yesterday, and it is here this morning. I will wipe the door clean eventually, but not today. The smoky white ring is all that’s left of the bird.

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