FNS: Fledgling by Angela Adele McElwain


Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Helen Presents: a poem from Angela Adele McElwain

Feral cats prone, purring, preening,
reposing in dazzling light,
stretched out under yellow and purple iris pennons.
Cat commas curled in terra cotta planters
where plants are repurposed as cushions.
A blue jay’s wings whoosh
and no one’s snoozing now.
Flying low,
stops on a dime mid-air
then bivouacs on a fence.
Its aim repossession.
But the jay has not been all stealth,
the cats alert
chins low
bellies close to the ground
eyes wide open and forward
never wavering from their
calculated approach to a fallen thing.

It’s too late for intervention on my part
I do not close the gap but, gut wrenched,
look away.
The jay alarming, swooping,
the cats intent, beset.
Red and straining
its innocent throat exposed,
the fledglings sharp yellow beak
jabbing the air in a wide arc
maps the circle of eyes gleaming gold.
Soon the standoff becomes taking turns
alternating between play,
torture and guarding the fallen thing.
So like us in a way.
It’s the nature of the thing, after all.

Angela Adele McElwain is a writer and artist living in Chicago Illinois.
Her poetry touches on experiential, spiritual issues and on what it is to be human. Her award-winning artwork has a national show record and has appeared in Incite. Her poem “Pied a Terre” was featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Crone Magazine.


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