August 29, 2010


Carpenter Street, Belleville, N.J.

We saved a baby robin
from its fate of abandonment.
We used an eyedropper
and fed it milk-soaked bread
until it graduated
to pieces of worms from our garden

And we kept it in a spare canary cage
on our back porch
where the wind blew
in through the screens

And gave it water
and fed it
and watched it fly
from the shelf
to wooden Brookdale soda crates
to the newspaper piles
back to the shelf.

That red-breasted robin grew
and I taught it
to hold onto my finger
and later onto a stick
and then a branch I held out

And one time
when it was stronger
I took it into the yard.
Ma took a black and white picture
of that little bird and me

That was the day it flew
from the stick in my hand
to a low-hanging branch.

And like a foolish little brother
there I stood with my finger out
expecting the weightless robin
to come land again,
Be fed again
Return to its cage again

When I looked up
it flew over me
And chalked
on my forehead

- By Anthony Buccino
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.
See also: First robin of spring and the fifth grade science project

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