The Dead Bird Still Sings

by The Cowl Editor on October 25, 2018


by Sam Ward ’21

It’s okay. You can look away.
Still fixated at the heap of feathers and blood at our feet:
I’ve seen dozens of dead birds and have had perfectly splendid days.
Perfectly. Splendid.

Perhaps if I knew our correspondence would be,
Stockholm / Lima,
I would have chosen my words more carefully,
Or I would have trusted the omen.

Picking apart the dwindling hours we had left,
Plausible pleasure from a desire for purpose.
I wish I could run it back and leave.
Really, I just wish I would have left the corpse alone.

Dead finch on the beach
Photo courtesy of

Because I lost my autonomy,
Following morbid thoughts,
Reaping what I sowed,
Aviary horrors only curses could produce.

Stepping into the antiquated nest,
Searching for adventure, settling for misery.
Shield me from the onset,
Clipped wings are anything but correct.

Me, like a lemming leaping to my death,
My fate leading me astray, naïve.
The wind would reject my wings.
Oh how, the dead bird still sings.