She found it in the grill of our car
when we stopped at the Loggers Museum in Forks.
A monument to clearcuts and habitat loss.
A Wilson’s Warbler, my buddy Wayne tells me.
Stilled in perfection.
But for one last fleeting moment.
Alive in grace and color and flight.
Doing what it is alive to do.
The next beat and it’s dead.
No match for our rented Ford Focus.
Our songbirds are in trouble.
I read it in the news.
Millions lost yearly
to man’s carelessness,
to our cute and cuddly cats.
What will our lives be without them?
Our specimen, our Wilson’s Warbler,
a victim of our need to see the world.
Bad timing, I think.
Collateral damage? I ask.
An uncounted cost of our trip.
Only acknowledged in our thoughts and images.