by Jane Dards
I took you from the cat, too late.
You were already stiff, though unmarked.
He had kept you to show; his strange catch.
It was a bad choice of room to hide in.
Now the midnight cape of your wings
is hidden. Your head rests between
long dark arms: twin gentlemans canes,
wrists tipped with tiny thumbs
where the silver ferrules should be.
The membranes of your ears are pale
and delicate, with elegant backward curve:
the ghostly petals of a still-born rose.
Your eyes are dulled above pointed, bristly snout.
The fur of your back is soft and brown as a mitten,
its cuff of fine black leather curled under,
enfolding tail and dainty hind feet.
No more will you flitter and dive in the dusk,
or snatch your quarry from the silvered night.
One less voice in the chittering
leaking from beneath the eaves.