Your mother is hiding in the woodpile. Naked, painted olive green, caulked white circles around her eyes. A desperate attempt to see a Connecticut Warbler before she dies. These microbursts of need have taken hold in the past, but this is total immersion.
Don’t tell your father, but last week she went through the neighborhood and shot out all of the lights—street, garage, solar, every one she could find—to keep light pollution from discouraging the birds to drop in before dawn.
Your father is hanging upside down in the garage, trying to turn himself into a chrysalis. A rat gnawed his leg off when he broke out of the bamboo cage I made for him. Poor fella. He had plenty of milkweed and water, but you know how your father is. He had to have it his way. Now look at him, half dead, dried out like an abandoned string of garlic.
If you want to make yourself useful, flip the tape, but mind the tangled web of speaker wire. She has the Connecticut song on a loop to attract the bird. And don’t turn the hose off, it’s flooding the yard for prime habitat. Have you ever seen it look so gorgeous? It’s turned into a bog full of sundew, pitcher plants, and sedges. Dragonflies like small helicopters, patrolling the perimeter.
Hon, don’t cry. This is what they wanted, you know that. Welcome home, and feed these blueberries to her before you flip the tape. She didn’t eat yesterday.
Brian Morse is the author of Migration (Pski’s Porch, 2016). His work has appeared in Akashic Books, Shotgun Honey, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. He can be found online at brian-morse.com.