Preparing for Residential Placement for My Disabled Daughter

My life without you—I have already
seen it. Today, on the salt marsh. 
The red-winged blackbird perched 
in the tallest tree, sage green branches
falling over the water. She sat there
for a long time, doing nothing.
As she lifted up to fly, the slender branch
shook from the release of her weight.
When the bird departed, it seemed
the branch would shake forever
in the wind, bobbing up and down.
When it finally stopped moving,
the branch was diminished,
reaching out to the vast sky.

Copyright © 2023 by Jennifer Franklin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 10, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.