My husband tells me there’s a baby
loon caught in the weeds. Wondering
what creature he could be taking
for a loon chick, in August, I slip down
to the docks. A kingfisher thrashes
in the shallows, and I scoop it up
with my gloves.

If a bird could sigh, this one would.
It closes its eyes, rests its head. Wildlife
rehab says don’t waste the gas, it’ll
never make it. Put it back. I tuck it
under the alders, by the water. It tumbles
to the pond and resumes thrashing. Ten
minutes later, the eagle comes for it.

I tell the children there are plenty
of kingfishers, of how there were
no bald eagles on the pond when
I was a girl. How fortunate we are
to have the raptors return, and that
eagles must also eat. I know, in my
mind, I did the right thing, but tell me
you wouldn’t feel like a villain.



This poem was originally published in Trees in Our Dooryards, Redbird Chapbooks.



About the Poet:
Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in the Best American Poetry blog, BOAAT,  Epiphany,  and The Writer’s Almanac.  She is a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, and the author of Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks).  Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. You can follow her work at .



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