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We gave a bird a funeral, my father and I—
it was one of those days
where time stands still, where
all evening sounds seem a lullaby, gently
singing the world to sleep.

Dusk was falling over us like
a thick, warm blanket
as we saw the bird at the foot of a tree—
fallen, dead, and gone.

I wanted to bury it
but my father said to leave it be;
it was half-buried anyway
in its spot of rest, chosen by fate,
its ornate wing covering a lifeless beak as it
lay in a crevice
between two thick roots.

So we scattered some leaves
of crimson and burnt copper,
wishing it well just in case it was on its way
to another life.
A gust of wind, an autumn breeze,
swept over the somber scene,
sending leaves dancing as
the bird’s beautiful soul departed,
soaring free once more.

Enni Harlan
Enni Harlan, 13
Los Angeles, CA

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