Archived: Bird Song by Bobby Deal

There was a time when I would never expect to hear the birds singing, welcoming the new day in a place like Brooklyn. This morning I was distracted by the complex melodies in their songs as I was walked to work at the coffee shop. It was the sound of screeching tires, crumpling metal and broken glass that caused me to turn. A woman’s jogging shoe flying through the air towards me, landing right here at my feet. The shoe quivering as if the woman who had just been wearing it was still jogging through the intersection. The sedan had come to a sideways skidding stop half way through the crosswalk. I could see the driver, pale as the dead, face contorted in a scream. His arms stiff, paralyzed hands clutching the wheel so tight his fingers were turning blue. I could see from where I stood the woman was badly injured, perhaps beyond salvation. Blood was pooling all around her, her right arm twitching involuntarily. The blood soaked sleeve of her yellow jogging suit torn open by the jagged bone that had thrust through it.


Bird song melded with the cacophony of sirens and screams. The Flight for Life helicopter was circling the scene, and the birds, the birds were still singing their song. Singing as if nothing had even happened. As the bird’s melody swelled to crescendo, I could not help but wonder. Just how much does a single life matter in the self-indulgent world I live in. If that were me on the ground, would the birds stop their song, or would they sing louder, like a herald of angels? I can hear the sirens in the distance, as they draw closer they create an eerie harmony to the melody of the birds who sing on and on as if nothing was wrong.