(This is another piece I wrote at my friend Emily’s writing workshop. We were given a subject & object by one of the other group members, & 15 minutes to write about it. Oceans Apart was the first of these.)
Oh I could hide ‘neath the wings of the blue bird as she sings… the 6 o’clock alarm would never ring. But it rings and I rise, wipe the sleep out of my eyes. The shaving razor’s cold and it stings. Cheer up sleepy Jean – oh what can it mean to a day dream believer and a home coming Queen?
Oh that I was that day dream believer….
Years since we moved up here and I’ve not seen the sounds of the city by day, but the night keeps my secrets. The bathroom window always sneaks me through its’ crack and out higher into the world than I’d first realized. The claustrophobia of the apartment abated some when I came to know that regardless of the walls, in some ways I still breath the air from up with the clouds.
Each night I slip out; I know she won’t suspect. She thinks I stay because of the cage she has me in. Big as it may be I cannot see how she cannot see it was not made for holding me.
Demanding to bring me with from the mountains was one of the most selfish things she has done. Her mother always did mumble about her immaturity… I see now what she means. I stay because I know that this time she was not stubborn for stubbornness sake; she was terrified and too proud to tell it. She needed, still needs, something, someone from home to come with her. And so here I am; who knows how far from the calm of the creek and the bend in the new trees in spring.
My nightfall freedom carries me through the shadows; up along over between and around. Across to a patch nearby that reminds me of something of something home. There are nests and grass and scraps of all sorts of things that would never be left in my pristine bowl. There are others cooing and squawking and settling in for the night too late, yet for some reason I still have made no real friends. I am not here for that.
Who knows how many trips I have made between this place and the pipes. How many times the change in weather or a visit from the cleaner has left my corner bare and waiting for me to start again. Bit by bit, brick by brick, branch by branch. I make this my home slowly and reluctantly –it’s growing on me despite myself. I make this my place the way she makes it hers.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For his eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.
(The brief I was given was: “A bird with a branch in a major metropolis.”)