A bird flew into the window
today; my heart sank
at the unmistakable thud.

On the deck I found our dog,
visibly distressed, and an unfamiliar
bird. The dog inside, her restraint

amply praised, I watched
the bird through the sliding
door. The mocha-colored body

pulsed with rapid breath —
it was alive. The head turned —
its neck wasn’t broken. A wing

stretched then retracted —
a hopeful sign. Satisfied
I could only make things worse

by interfering, I looked
for field markings: curved
black bill with yellow; creamy

throat-chest-belly; long tail
edged in white; rufous patch
on wing. By the time I found

Roger Tory Peterson, my Bird Doe
had gone, but I had a name:
yellow-billed cuckoo.