THE CALIFORNIA CONDOR
By Timothy E.G. Bartel
The way of dodos was their way, improbable birds
Fated to fall from Darwin’s leaf-stripped tree.
But man, it turned out, had wings within him:
With care he captured each great vulture, made
A sanctuary for their slow healing.
He stitched a likeness of a condor’s form
To feed the mother- deprived nestling, to remind it
What sort of being it could still become.
Such rescue is what church can be:
In rooms lined with likenesses, we
Succor a deep and endangered wingspan,
Discover and clean forgotten feathers
Tangled in the dark flesh of every chest.