Fledgling blue jay in hand, child on his arm,
the grandfather walks toward a hemlock.

One of a pack of kids sneaks up behind him
and strikes at the bird. “别别!” The others are picking up sticks.

The old man places the jay on a high branch
and as he walks away, the kids knock it down again.
One boy is running with it, over to the concrete.

He rears and tosses the bird as high in the air
as he can. It flaps its wings and flies into a tree trunk,
falls to the pavement. He goes to pick it up again.

The Chinese with his grandchild does not look back.
The jay is with the Americans. It will fly
or die.