born to be worn (a letter to kenneally)

by tobias crabtree

my dolphin r.v. is parked in the lower yard at chrispy and ethan’s house. chrispy called for me last night in the duskiness of the evening. it was near bed time for me, in fact, i might or might not have been heading to bed when she called me. she had spotted a little flycatcher, hanging in the top of a tree.


i climbed to the top of the to free the little songbird. it was caught by one foot in the very top branch of the mulberry tree. i sawed the branch and lowered the exhausted little flycatcher. her wings were flapping and she let out a last squawk right as i closed my hand around her wings. then she bit me on thumb. she never let go while i held her. i checked her legs and her feet to make sure they weren’t broken from the twisting; they were fine.  i looked at her colors, dusty olive on top; soft, yellow underneath; black-tipped wings and a long, beautiful tail. her eyes had a little yellow ring around them, almost like a girl wears makeup to accentuate what outfit they’re wearing. i opened my hand and she waited a second, still clamped on my thumb with her beak. when she realized she was free and sitting on her feet in my palm, she fluttered once and flew.


there was no fan fair. she just flew into the evening. i imagined her going to a roost and her heart still pounding from this event. would she need water? how long had she hung there? would she change because of it? do animals like that remember tragedies or are they able to forget and go on without the memories and the suffering that seems to attach itself to them? there’s a part of me that hopes that little flycatcher remembers me and my love of her freedom. my love of her beating heart. so that when she’s flying above and looks down on my human form, she has a feeling different from fear; a feeling more remote that started way back when things were fewer and closer to the source. something along the lines of connection.


my soul, it gets drug around by the pretty things. and my soul is sticky so it collects all the wonders as if they were born to be worn.