There will be no children for this pair of mockingbirds.
Their diligent parenting notwithstanding, the last small voice of a new generation has altogether been silenced.
Where once four were birthed, there remains none.
Nature saw fit to dispatch the brood in methodical bloodletting one life at a time.
Tempestuous weather danced winds about their perches until their grasps were weakened, then upon these feeble holds was thrown rain to make even the most secure branch slippery.
Like trees felled by the woodsman’s axe, innocent lives were cut down each in turn.
I stood against the fence and beckoned to those small mouths to call out one more time. I hoped beyond logic for at least one to have survived.
But it is not so.
Instead, day by day the lights were extinguished by whatever means could be wielded by forces more powerful than even the strongest of technologies.
I weep lamentations upon the ground where still bodies once rested.
My tears wet the spaces beneath verdant cover that once offered its protection.
My lungs grasp at the air and heave it to and fro as if to contain within them its total agony now unheard and unseen except by my mind’s eye and my spirit’s heart.
Yet the two visit the tree still. At least from time to time.
In the hollows of their eyes I see hunger to see the child that is no more.
In the emptiness of their ears I hear the desperate listening for a demanding voice pleading for one more meal.
In the stillness of their being I feel the unspoken cry for what has been lost, what can never be replaced.
Beckon to the sound of an ancient heart as it beats like a drum the rhythm of life.
For that rhythm can both inflame the passion of existence and extinguish its light with brutal finality.
So these two—these two stricken with the severity of parenthood desperately seek one moment more.
That time will never come.