This morning, on the concrete floor of my bus stop enclosure, a sparrow lay dead. I knelt beside her tiny body, cold fingers trying to lift her gently from the ice. A boy wandered into the enclosure and turned to look down at us.
“It’s a dead bird,” I said helplessly, needlessly.
He studied us both for a moment. “Here,” he said, kneeling beside me, “I have gloves.” We dug a hole in the snowbank and he scooped her tiny body into his hands.
“You were a beautiful little bird,” he said, awkwardly, as he buried her in the snow. “Rest in peace.”
We stood and brushed the snow from our knees, embarassed a little as the bus rumbled to a stop. I laughed in a voice that wasn’t my own and I thanked him and I turned away awkwardly so that he wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. I always cry at funerals.