Teeth: A Poem about Vincibility

My dog slowed beneath the fir

and chewed.

Wings splayed between her teeth and

jutted past her muzzle.

I caught her collar before she

dodged and

pried her jaws to

reach the fledgling inside:

a swallow,

new to flight

from his nest of

grass and feathers,

where he’d fed on

ballooning spiders and

flies and such and

had grown from egg to launch

in thirteen April days.

Gordon Setter panting

Now he lay in my palm,

his creamy breast

wet with saliva

and blood,

one minute after

his first bold swoop

too close to the ground, where a

black dog snapped

him from the air.


Gordon Setter licking her muzzle


I could have let the dog finish.

Let her gulp her morsel.


Instead I saw

young wings dangling,

beak unhinged as if to call,

eyes wide as if


that he could die.


Teeth: A Poem about Vincibility by Cheryl Bostrom ©2019

Gordon Setter running

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

—Psalm 90:12


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Love the outdoors? I can take you there. Rural & wild PNW posts and photos from a naturalist, faith writer, and author of three books, including the award-winning novel Sugar Birds. Member of Redbud Writers Guild.

12 thoughts on “Teeth: A Poem about Vincibility

    1. Good question, Marilyn. Depends on how and when one finds oneself dying, I suppose. What were one’s expectations? And how has one prepared for its inevitability? Or if one is too young to have entertained the notion and still feels invincible. I can imagine myself with a “Wow! This is really it!” element of surprise.


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