To the River

Who's to say it did not

die of heartbreak

the chick laid out

in a cardboard box

outside the school?

Sudden rain is turning

the cracked sidewalk

tiles and potholed street

into a kind of Thames

down which the creature

is being borne

with neither lily nor

letter in its barge

a dirty sock its coverlet

its pillow a Nescafe lid

and some seeds, and

when it comes to a stop

there is no one lined up

a marble stair

tier over tier

to see the feathers flattened

around the eye

the brown-gold fur

the folded wings.

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