The other day I found a duck lying in the road. It gazed up at me, eyes fluttering, and desperately sucked breath into its orange bill. I knelt down and placed my hand on its head. Its eyes shifted to the right. The day shrunk into a corner of a Portland street where the duck and I tried to understand the breadth of what was going on. It was dying and I was living and I would somehow, maybe out of selfishness, attempt to save its life. I grabbed a t-shirt from the trunk of my car and carefully draped it over the duck. As I picked it up, it wobbled life into its broken body and escaped, running down the street into oncoming traffic, bicyclists, dogs and their walkers, and pedestrians chattering on cell phones. The duck made it about ten feet, then limply fell to the ground. In a panic, I called my coworker."I need a box for this duck. It's about to die. Hurry." Two minutes later he was there with a box. One minute later he succeeded in capturing it. The duck and I drove to the audubon society. Every turn and stoplight a second closer to the survival of this feathered being. A man in a white coat took the duck from my arms. "It might be dead. You might want to check if it's dead. I think it's dead" I said, unsure as to what else I could say. "Oh, could be, but you never know, birds can be resilient. Here, if you want you can call and check up on it. It's a Lesser Scaup. It's bird number 191. When you call, say you would like to find out about duck 191." So later that day, I called about duck 191. It was still alive. In shock, but alive. The next day, Thursday, I called about duck 191. It had stood up twice. Friday I called about duck 191. It was surprisingly better. Saturday I called about duck 191. It had eaten and digested its food and would undergo surgery on Sunday. On Sunday I stopped calling about duck 191. I assumed it was better and would fly back home soon. Today I called about duck 191. The man on the phone said, "let me see, I'll get its paperwork", which made me think it had flown away. "Oh, unfortunately, it looks like duck 191 died on Saturday night," he said as though he were telling me the death of a loved one, a leg, or toe. "I thought he was doing better" I said. "What happened?" "Birds are fragile." he responded. "That's all this paperwork in front of me says. I'm sorry I don't have any more information. Have a good day." Since I hung up the phone, I can't stop staring into the sky.