Mudlark No. 56 (2015)

His wife loves birds,

and there are many birds where they live, and one year she asked him to build a low deck so that she could sit and watch birds. But she did not say it that way—she just asked him to build a low deck, and he did, and he knew it was so that she could sit and watch birds.

She knows the names of all kinds of birds, and names them if she’s asked, but that is not what birds are for her—not names with wings, but warm, quick things, no two the same, and she sees each, learns each, the voice of each & how it moves, what it finds to make its nest, when it leaves that nest & when the young ones fledge, and you’d think she’d keep a book or a book in her head, but she does not need to, and these days on the deck are long days, and when she comes back she is still who she is, filled with it.

Sometimes he stands at the side of the yard and looks at her: how still she is there, still who she is, and he, glad she’s still there.

Gerald Fleming | She woke in the night
Contents | Mudlark No. 56 (2015)