Consequences / by Walter Kitundu

One life affects others. There is no escaping it. I commute by motorcycle sometimes and see roadkills often. Cars barrel through the countryside, little bubbles, music playing, heat on, following a bloom of light through the night. Skunk, deer, snake, fox, startle. Things happen. I relocated this Gray Fox because I couldn't stand the thought of it being ground flat by so many wheels. It seemed disrespectful not to put it in a nearby field and I did the same with the gopher it had been carrying. A gesture from the human side of an unfair fight... no contest.

On the motorcycle I'm agile, alert, cautious but quick, yet not removed from this dance. Two Song Sparrows twirl from the bushes to my left at speed and weaving to orchestrate a near miss I duck and twist and one sparrow goes up free and clear the other dips and taps my headlight with a barely perceptible pulse, and I stop, and I turn, and the pavement holds its burden low, and the wind tousles feathers, animating, filling me with hope, but the wind carries on, as it does, and the sparrow, once a taught bundle of nervousness and quick purpose, drained of its ebullient sharpness and pitch, lay light and loose in my hand.

A bird, a deer, a rat, ant, spider, the countless insects gathering in pointillistic arrays on our windshields... We move, they move, things happen. The key is to notice, to acknowledge, to respect, to care. Tucked into all the trouble in the world I know this may seem of little consequence, but it's all relative isn't it? A matter of degree but it does matter.