An oriole sings to a dying father. A bleeding-heart dove saves the day. A crow wakes a woman's resolve. Owls help a boy endure isolation. Cockatoos attend the laying of the dead. Always there are birds in these linked stories that pay homage to kindness amidst loss, grief, discord and displacement, from Australia to the Philippines, across cultures and species. When we encounter that snag in the breath, that shadow of a wing, we hope to remember kindness. Kindness cannot self-isolate. It moves both ways and all ways, like breath.

Books by Merlinda Bobis Accidents of Composition (2017) Locust Girl: A Lovesong (2015) Fish-Hair Woman (2012) The Solemn Lantern Maker (2008, 2009) Banana Heart Summer (2005, 2008) Pag-uli, Pag-uwi, Homecoming (2004) White Turtle (1999, 2013) Summer Was a Fast Train without Terminals (1998) Cantata of the Warrior Woman Daragang Magayon / Kantada ng Babing Mandirigma Daragang Magayon (1993, 1997) Ang Lipad ay Awit sa Apat na Hangin / Flight is Song on Four Wings (1990) Rituals (1990)