By Sherry Rind
The Airedale woke us, crashing and howling against the door. John and I watched a coyote leap the fence, its gold melting into the dark wood and our hen a limp ribbon in its teeth. The dog tracked scattered chicks we picked like cotton balls and stuffed under another hen. Chickens forget their history overnight but we told each other the story over years. I watched him fade to dark. Our revels ended, our history mine alone to stage or improvise. In this summer’s Renaissance Death wears a white mask, gives candy to children. There’s less mud than the olde days but everyone’s wearing the same puffy shirts and wads of skirt brushing the cow pies. When the hens’ jester hats slip down their heads, crows disguised as ravens get the crumbs. Not every child gets lucky at the trout pond. In warm water, the fish lose appetite, go flaccid. In the hospital aquarium, fish refracted bigger than life, brighter in full-spectrum light. Someone cleans up the bodies. Time refracts everyone’s history; every marriage, a reenactment. The singing pirates in real beards and gold earrings don’t know jib from jibe. July transforms from rain to heat. The lettuce bolts, the peas collapse and dry, Death steals their rustle. Time fills with belled hats and dancing to pipes, ribbons unfurled, our little lives a darkening mirage.
Copyright Rind 2017