The Third Loss (53)

Three white-crowned sparrows and a California towhee eat bird seed beneath the small ficus tree in my mother’s back yard. A spotted towhee runs out from his hiding place beside the house to join them, and his animated small self, his bright reddish orange and sleek black, so fresh and alive, remind me of the empty place in the pot of succulents where the dead spotted towhee used to lie, and my belly, full of echoes, hollows out.

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