Farewell to two young birds

A young Robin appeared, wild and free,
Tawny, fledged but late of recent nest 
Found and then bravely adopted me.
Without fear, it spoke and said Domest-
-Icate me! And no-one could refuse,
Could they? Such trusting bold confidence.
Just as if an orphan had said “
With a youngster's winsome nonchalance.

For days and weeks he would come to find
Me out, and stay close within reach, or
At least not appearing much to mind
Such dire nearness of a predator.
Then he would chitter for attention
Where’er outside I happened to be;
Sometimes alighting with a thump on
Some place I sat absent-mindedly.

And then…

A thump above our heads made us
Look up. And through the perspex glaze
Could see the immobile pullus.
Cast from its nest lying there dazed.
A second charge afforded us.
This one without parents to aid
Itself: Passer domesticus.
And all the while we were afraid.

Afraid we would feed it wrong, and
In vain ignorance let it die.
Wary to take food from our hand -
- Before hunger made it comply.
When he outgrew his box of card,
Bought a cage to put him in. So
Much he railed at the steel that barred
His wings, we had to let him go.

He may have fed, we didn't see.
And despite all worry and care,
We'll never know if he lives free.
Wild things of course must take their share
Of life's severe vicissitudes
And make their way, as best they may.


We watch nature in all her moods
As safe as houses, night and day.

Winswell Water, August 2018