Birds

Sitting on the side of the highway

dozing in the front of my car,

I blinked awake and noticed the sky turning red

as the sun set over the empty lots and heavy cranes of the industrial park.

I had hours left to drive.

By the side of the road

Six birds danced

Pecking at seeds and grain spilled on the road by farm trucks.

The six birds were of two different species,

Two were galahs; they stood together.

Four were rosellas.

The galahs moved slowly, like fat angels,

Their pink feathers

Shone like morning time.

They ate from their claws, holding the seed to their beaks.

The smaller birds

Looked like moving rainbows,

Their feathers of blue, green, and red

Made them look like French Kings.

In busy steps and hops

The birds climbed onto the black road.

I raised my hand to honk the horn, to scatter them back to the trees.

Before I could,

With a growl, a blue sedan raced past

And without hesitating,

Ploughed into the busy birds.

That car, with a series of soft thuds,

Scattered the tiny bodies across the road.

White feathers rained down from the sky

Like God had torn a pillow.

Those warm naked bodies rolled across the black tar

Some into the grass beside the road.

One bird was only injured,

It crawled about in circles, terrified and blinded by pain.

I looked up to see the driver as she disappeared,

She was a young woman with long black hair

And large black sunglasses,

She did not flinch,

Did not doubt,

But continued on her way without a thought.

The destruction of those six birds happened so quickly

Those naked bodies, the broken necks,

Those beautiful birds

Scattered like ashes in the wind.

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