I hear the impact. No more than a dull
thud, distant as a car door closed a street
away. The source initially escapes me.
At my shoulder three removal men
divide the heft of a black-rimmed mirror.
They too have heard the beat and hold their pose.
And there it is. The tiny corpse a shadow
upon the graphite-grey concrete. The men
all watch as I reach with trembling fingers.
A swallow, its neck unnaturally loose.
Still warm with passing life this once restless
thing of sound and fire has winged too keenly
into its own reflection, meeting the depths
of unforgiving glass. Broken body still
housing the last efforts of its tiny heart
only just stilled. The men complete their move
of the mirror into the hollow tunnel
of their vehicle and one, with a cloth
fashioned from a torn rag, wipes away
the small mark the bird has left upon the glass.