Remember the baby sparrow splayed out on the ground? We were too young to know death and yet, when our grandfather crushed it, we knew what it meant. A simple movement; he used the sole of his shoe, breaking its miniature body into bits. Its mother, in the nest above, hovered over the remaining chicks as if to say, They are mine, don’t touch. This, our first taste of death, a gentle reminder of the delicate balance of life. We buried that sparrow in the backyard; our mother, with total disregard for our delicate minds, told us this was mother nature at work. We needn’t worry, because this was normal. And in our small lives, this would prove to be true.
-- Erika Lutzner’s first chapbook, Invisible Girls, is available through dancing girl press as well as her second, Bedtime Stories. Her next book, You Were My Death, is forthcoming by Kattywompus Press. Erika curates Upstairs At Erika’s, a monthly writers salon in Brooklyn, New York. She also runs Scapegoat Review, a quarterly journal.