Once, before children, my wife
and I took a nest of fledglings
to a woman who rehabbed wildlife.
I remember the “No” that creased
her face when asked if we could see
more, but then she went inside
and brought out two nighthawks.
One ate mealworms willingly,
the other only if force-fed.
I remember that something gathered
in the tar-drip eyes of the latter,
a learning that the hand that held
and made meant good.