It was a very little death, I know.
They happen every day, go unrecorded,
Unlamented; this one was lucky in that way,
I spied it on the path beside the road
And picked it up—it was a little cracker,
A tree sparrow as smart as a new pin,
Its every feather still in place, so trim
It seemed brand new, you couldn’t think it dead.
There was a ring around its leg which read:
TB87618. I knew the form
And sent an e-mail to the local ringer,
Paul, who would record it in the log
And so bestow upon the bird a sort
Of immortality. Let’s hope
It is a consolation to the rest
For it was just last spring when they were ringed
Before they’d left their mother’s cosy nest.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.