At sunrise, a happy red-breasted robin traveled southwesterly from Sadly Jane and Gregory's house. She looked down to see the early morning sun splashing maroon and copper paint onto icy and snow-covered black rooftops. She passed unnoticed over the 96 overpass and observed the stranded vehicles who challenged their rusted heaps to carry them to their jobs.
The bird was careful to avoid telephone wires. She took a slight dip to the left and just passed through a radio tower – the only one for miles – which played uninterrupted Country and Religious broadcasts in an endless loop. Sometimes, when she passed through, the electrical currents would make her head swoon as they did on this morning.
Onward she flew, south-southwesterly now, towards where the residential homes thinned out, and suddenly she was crossing a vast, snowy plain. She passed over a pond and even swooped down to pick up a toad whose dark body was incredibly visible against the white blanket of winter – a rare delicacy this time of year.
She settled on the icy limb of a willow tree, that for some strange reason, eternally looked up and directly into the onslaught of oncoming rain, unblinkingly, and she admired her view – an abandoned church with tall stone spires, and long-robed concrete statues with long, bent faces, whose hands were pressed together in endless prayer – and a stained-glass mosaic picture window of some long-expired saint. A few of the stained-glass windows were either broken or absent altogether, but she could still see the saint peering solemnly through a hole from behind a hallowed, jagged wall.
Behind the church a stream flowed, gurgling in some spots and flowing in others, through layers of thin ice.
She made herself comfortable in her tree and picked nits from her wings. She finished eating the little bits of toad. Then, just like every morning since the day she were born, she listened to the soothing, somber melody of the church bells that had just begun to toll.
To Useless Shard #10 ⇒
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All poems and stories on this web page are (C)Copyright 1996 - 1999 by Ronald Rand.