An English In Kentucky


















Wednesday April 3rd 2013    Tim Candler


    My Woo Mockingbird sang sweetly while I worked the compost piles.  She'd dot down to pick at things that wriggle or might once have wriggled. And I felt proud and important, and very male.  Sadly we boys are fickle, passions attached to us become like Grasshopper legs. At first I thought it was a shadow in the eye of old age, or perhaps something mold wrapped on the spectacles that had flicked my way while doing masculine battle with a stubborn root of Poke Weed.  But it was nothing so expected, and the Woo Mockingbird became silent, which can be depressing, when your elegant and aristocratic wrists ache and your wing twinges, and you're fairly certain you've just laid hands upon Poison Ivy and there's a thorn in a finger tip you lost twenty odd years ago, and you're trying to think of ways to recap the thoughts of an entire winter without mentioning Popes, or Saints, or the Anglo Saxon Chronicles, or the Rabbit of Usk, or Ptolemaic Kings, because you've realized you only like the word "transgression" when it's joined to "Dunkirkian."

   She was there on the fence post, her back to me, staring west, so I followed her gaze.  Of course all Mockingbirds and Spiders see better than I do, so I persevered and suddenly I saw what the Woo Mockingbird had seen. Like a slow Butterfly almost, floating through air. Sun caught a royal sparkle of blue, and a knife sharp scissor of tail that becomes dainty when it twists and turns.  Her breast was almost sleet white and the curve of her wings dark against the horizon. Inches away from me, she looked me in the eye, so the universe might know stillness.  She was up from the distant south where the Parrots live, and in no hurry, a stroll I guess, looking this way then that way. And then, as she remembered us, she thought it a "welcome home" when the Woo Mockingbird gave her a chase, and she came back for another touch of affection. I turned toward the bloom of Forsythia and decided that if I died at three in the afternoon, I'd die happy. But, if it so happens that my heart doesn't burst sufficient to end me, and you spot me in the Lost Ward please don't touch my feet or pat my head, just pull out the plug of whatever it is I might be attached to so that I might gurgle my last breath in bliss.


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