The Bravery Required to Exit the Egg

by Shaun Terry

Baby Bird

The alleyway echoes,
rattling like a drunken drummer
attempting to play in a complex time signature.
Around the corner,
a nook becomes visible;
loose papers and the plastic wrapper
from a microwaveable burrito or cinnamon bun
— like you might get at a convenience store —
tap the ground as they gently swirl;
an urban infant tornado.

The promise of the world emerges
when an egg suddenly becomes misshapen:
a small, winged creature will emerge
with giant eyes and a gaped mouth.
Before it can ever hope to fly,
the bird must learn to breathe
and someone or something must vigilantly protect it.
From where that protection comes,
assuming that it ever does,
depends on the universe’s random lottery.

It’s said that nothing’s perfect,
but maybe the joining of two imperfect entities
can create apparently perfect harmony.
Maybe the universe sometimes allows
a bird to fly when it seems that it shouldn’t.