restricted access The Eye on the Sparrow
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21 The Eye on the Sparrow A sparrow hits my window—flies out like an aimless bottle rocket, knocks one trapstick leg to perpendicularity with feather sparks flying off in a trail of smoke. The house cat is at the glass, crying a note that sounds like mom. I don’t place the wayward missile in a shoebox, safe from the prowling of other half-domestic neighborhood pets, despite common wisdom on the matter. I don’t want to see the sparrow thrash as I lift it, my hands inside lime-green latex gloves. I don’t want to hear it rasp a sound like mom from its cracked beak. I don’t want to see its death shudder while I watch, worrying about exotic flu. I stop looking. An hour later, the sparrow’s gone. I imagine it saw those blue cat’s eyes, rushed to knock its bandy leg back in place, and lurched off to some other embarrassed lawn, leaving a powder of down. ...

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