The Rehabilitator

by Steven Kunert

I was about ten when the young hawk died in Mother’s hands, and she said, Death will linger but life always hovers higher. Later, she fed a fallen cedar waxwing nestling from an eyedropper filled with orange juice and apple mush, while in a cage next to her a once lame sparrow chirped, I’m ready. I saw them come, injured or half dead, and I saw them fly again or go to the dirt in our backyard, where she always put those. One day I pointed to a robin’s feather rising from under the soil. No worry, she said. It will go up or it will stay down, and either way, you’ll be fine.


Steven Kunert's writings in fiction, nonfiction and poetry have stretched for 30 years in publications such as The Starving Artist Times, Dude, Rio Grande Review, Word Riot and decomP.