Justin Skolnick lives and works in Portland.

birds

Originally posted to justin.revision8.com on in Waverly, Iowa

Yesterday I came across five dead birds collected at a sidewalk intersection beneath a skywalk. Two lay face down in the grass, opposite another pair, and one upon the sidewalk on its side, beak agape, quarter-size pool of semi-clotted blood from the mouth. A sixth sat in the grass beside this last one like a small lawn ornament — I almost tripped over it. I crouched not a foot from its stiffly blinking eye, watched me defiantly with remourse and contempt, but did not move. Never have I been so close to a wild bird.

I do not know whether to hate the clear plate glass windows of the skywalk, which connects the Fine Arts Center to the Library, or the bushes of berries the birds eat. Or to lament the proximity of the two.