It’s the usual anonymous flat fur remnant
over a lasagne of bloody entrails,
but this time—this particular corpse—
—each time a car passes, a wing fans up
in perfect extension, so well-designed
that it outlasted life. Then down it snaps
as the air falls still again.
Glory be for dappled things—a speckled wing
and, at the root of the spray, heart-wrenching fluff,
as if it could protect the match-boned bird.
Almost like a middle finger fuck you,
one tiny defiance for the numberless flattened.
A grouse or pheasant, I think.
How often have I seen that streak of heathered ground
come alive, take off in a flurry
of whirrs and colours; usually spotted
from a zooming car.
We were past it in two seconds.