On its back under raw rafters
cloud facing claws curled around
thin stems of light
the precise beak compassed
towards a path
it saw coming through wild birch
and wild lowland bog
that November they placed
a For Sale sign
at the house built on ground
where you lived as a child
with a mother
and father dead years
before developers
came to collapse an old home
on its wide grey skirts.

Dust billowing from frayed hems
mingled with new mortar
you want to own
but worried the dead blue tit
weightless on your palm
is a creature of ill omen
portending some sly snare
rather than message
sent to an only daughter
from one who knew
the places birds go to die
free from storm and predator
and if left unburied there
flesh and blood and bone gone
with the skylight’s fold of stars
decay transmuted to feathers
trembling in blue topaz and gold.