Kiira Rhosair: Confession

A semi-poetic literary composition

Once, I was driving to work,
on time, not late,
29 miles an hour.
A pigeon crossed the road,
three-pronged feet wending
on zebra-striped asphalt,
beak bent to the ground,
wings folded back,
deep in thought,
like an octogenarian
out for a stroll
pondering the implications
of a hard Brexit.
Quite assured, really.
Safely moving forth
on a pedestrian crossing
in suburban England.

My limited experience of avians told me,
and I was 100% sure of this,
that it would flitter away
in just a moment,
at the approach of my engine.
Ergo, I did not restrain my wheels.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

A crunch.
So shocked, my cries
drowning Jay-Z and Beyoncé,
no pluck to look back,
driving on,
a mile long tail
of drudging motors
behind me.

At work, the first patient’s foot
already tapping,
I hunted down Nicole
(a colleague,
she does our infection control training)
to blurt out my sin like a Corleone,
Catholic to priest.
(She works behind a hatch.
So apt).

I’m in shock.
It was likely out for a morning walk.
Why didn’t it fly like a normal bird?
I am a killer.

Nicole was very kind and forgiving.

Later, I googled ‘bird charities’
and made a donation
to the only one
with Prince Charles as patron.
it did not make me feel any better.

Today, years later,
driving with the kids,
Very, very late,
31 miles per hour.
A pigeon crossed the road,
(uncivilised, cocky,
ignored the zebra completely),
stepping out like a death wish.
Asking for it, really.

Reader, I remembered.

Muttered to the kids that
pigeons’ peripheral vision
is bloody awful,
and their hearing’s a flipping joke,
(Was that first pigeon just old?)
and why don’t they just stay in the sky?
(Did it have arthritis?)
as I applied gentle pressure
to the brake pedal.

This bird went home to its family.

And now, three years after
my foray into Catholicism,
I have reached a point
where I can contemplate
one day
being on the road
that will lead,
to the path
that may provide
a modicum
of self-forgiveness,
and no longer needing
to feed random pigeons
my leftovers,
just in case,
that one has been reborn
(it’s not a Catholic)
and, its belly full,
will now forgive me.

Kiira Rhosair (KRho to fans) is a yet-to-be discovered world famous novelist who dabbles in unpredictable spurts of short fiction. Every decade or so, she will write pieces with poetic tendencies that never get published but do have literary merit if you study them from afar with a telescope.