Heidi StephensonAnimal Rights Poetry By Heidi Stephenson From All-Creatures.org

I never felt more blessed

Walking along
the Plymouth Road,
tarmac steaming, air starved:
a late June in crisis.

A mile to go
and striding now
towards the town;
but something made me
look down.

A young sparrow,
by a drain, a boy,
all rust and inky,
fledged, but heat-exhausted,
too weak to struggle:
that fatal waiting.

One chance.
(No family to be seen.)
I picked him up.
He didnít flap or panic,
just gazed with soft, sloe eyes
and asked for help.

Still trusting,
(the ancient bond.)
Knew I was his best chance:
a short moment before
the tearing motorbikes,
the waspy vespas,
the death tanks.

I left my handbag.
Life more urgent.
Used both hands
and scooped.
Selfishly stroked his head
(a light touch
with fore finger.)

He let me,
sat there patiently
in my hand.
His eyes on mine.

We crossed that crazy road.

I set him down
in safer undergrowth,
checked his feet
for lameness, injury.
Left him on the smooth leaves.

But he just stayed there,
immobile. Pleading again
with those eyes, too weak,
(he had decided,)
to survive alone.

One chance.
I took him home
decisively caging
my willing prisoner
in a nest of fingers.

We cooled him down
with wetted paint brush,
stroked his feathers
to a drizzle drench,
(everything in miniature,)
rain capped him.

Water colour never
looked so good.

We prized a dead insect
from his mouth,
unblocked him,
helped him drink,
brushed some droplets.

He obliged,
took it all in,
drank and drank,
gratefully accepted
the DIY SOS,
the well-meaning,
amateur preening.

An hour of care and rest
and he perched
more sprightly
on the edge
of a gift-box:
feet curling, and
mercifully intact!

And after a few
considered minutes,
he used his wings (not broken)
and disappeared
into the honeysuckle,
via the helpful arm
of a rose.

He made it!

I never felt more blessed.
I never felt more blessed.

©Heidi Stephenson, 2023

Image from Pexels.com

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