Not the Saddest Thing in the World

All day I feel some itchiness around
the collar, constriction of living. I write

the date at the top of a letter; though
no one has been writing the year lately,

I write the year, seems like a year you
should write, huge and round and awful.

In between my tasks, I find a dead fledgling,
maybe dove, maybe dunno, to be honest,

too embryonic, too see-through and wee.
I don’t even mourn him, just all matter-of-

fact-like take the trowel, plant the limp body
with a new hosta under the main feeder.

Seems like a good place for a close-eyed
thing, forever close-eyed under a green plant

in the ground, under the feast up above. Between
the ground and the feast is where I live now.

Before I bury him, I snap a photo and beg
my brother and my husband to witness this

nearly clear body. Once it has been witnessed
and buried, I go about my day, which isn’t

ordinary, exactly, because nothing is ordinary
now even when it is ordinary. Now, something’s

breaking always on the skyline, falling over
and over against the ground, sometimes

unnoticed, sometimes covered up like sorrow,
sometimes buried without even a song.

Copyright © Ada Limón. Used with permission from Milkweed Editions.