Sue Finch – Tuesday Night

She says she has something to tell me
puts down her drink.
I am counting the seconds of her pause and breath.
She says she is afraid 
that a bird will die in her hands
that there are things in the world 
she cannot save.
I ask her how many birds she has ever cupped 
she tells me none
but says me she has seen them held.
I ask her
how many of those carefully cradled creatures died.
Her silence tells me none.
Yet here she is playing
it through in her head
not knowing what to do
with the last breaths
she is holding.
I do not know the words to reassure her.
I worry that even offering to be the one
to hold the dying birds
will not be enough.

Sue Finch lives with her wife in North Wales. Her first published poem appeared in A New Manchester Alphabet in 2015 whilst studying for her MA with Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work has also appeared in a number of online magazines including: The Interpreter’s HouseInk, Sweat and Tears, Dear ReaderOne Hand Clapping and IceFloe Press. Her debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, was published in October 2020 with Black Eyes Publishing UK.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on