Elegy for a suicidal bird by John Roth

A cardinal opens its ragged wings
against the sky like an old wound;
something red and feather-fringed
caught up by the sweeping cold,
berry in beak, as it dips in and out
of the wind. Shaky in its first flight,
the cardinal adjusts its tail, throws
its body onto the strongest current,
quivering in the air like autumn’s
last fallen leaf. Then suddenly,
a glint from below catches its tiny
eye and the cardinal begins to
descend, dive-bombs into three
inches of solid glass. With the self
perceived threat now gone, all
that remains is a pervasive silence
where there should be birdsong.

John Roth
JohnRoth1John Roth is currently enrolled as a first year student in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program. His poems have appeared in The Orange Room Review, The Eunoia Review, Toasted Cheese Journal, and Bird’s Thumb, among others.