The phone rang. It was my husband. Don't open the front door, he said. Okay, I said. Why? This was yesterday--before the rain fell so hard that I jumped out of bed and ran around the house making sure all of the windows were shut, before I fell asleep reading about my ten ounce baby, before Mary brought over homemade peach muffins. There's a bird, he said. A baby bird. I don't think it can fly.
Trapped in our entrance way, there was indeed a bird. When C. finally opened the door I was scared to look. I thought it would be featherless and half-formed, but it looked as much like a bird as any bird. It was a sparrow, maybe, or a wren, perched on the ground in the corner behind a steel pipe.
We tore the heel of the staling wheat bread from the fridge and made a little path for the bird. I worried this was a test of my capacity for motherhood; I grabbed my camera. No way, C. said. The flash will scare it to death. Oh, I said. Motherhood test: failed.
A few people came over, and we closed the door and ate watermelon and Mary's peach muffins and talked about poems. When they were leaving, the bird was gone. For much of the night, I dreamed wildly, and the baby fluttered inside of me, soft-winged, but then the rain came, and--for the life of me--I couldn't manage to get back to sleep, so I settled for tea and reading and the steady sound of the still-falling rain.