Delilah

17th March, 2008

Old towels spread over the upholstery, a box of tissue nearby. She knew who we were, despite the pain killers they’d given her. I kept stroking her wings, telling her I was sorry, sorry, so sorry.

Time.

I carried her in. She was light – barely any heavier than when we’d first brought her home, a year ago. I set her down on the surgical table. A gas mask, for a bird. Strange contraption. She accepted it, as she’d accepted almost everything else. I stopped trying to blot my tears.

Then it was time to lay her on her side. Blue fluid in the syringe – blue. Like the waters around Great Keppel Island. A surreal vision of Delilah on holiday with us, scritching in white sand. The underside of her wing, the ulnar vein – I’d always wondered where it was. Needle in, draw back, blood, yes, slowly, ease the barbituate in.

And wait.

For the convulsion, the beating wings, the arching back. For the sudden squawk that you dread and know is only reflex, but which makes you want so desperately to say hush, oh, hush, I’m sorry, I’ve changed my mind, stop, undo this – too late, too late, already too late, by minutes, hours, days.

driving home –
swaddled on my lap
her absence

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: