Yesterday I saw a cardinal, a beautiful and striking thing. It was lonely on the road, dying, its wings and back broken by a car. It lifted its head and chirped its orange beak and looked at me with expressionless eyes as I drove by. I watched it shrink in the rearview, watched it put its head back on the ground and begin to wait again. It was a violent red in the middle of all that gray, a violent red fading to gray. And I hoped a more compassionate someone came along after me to pick it up and comfort it, to make the end a little less lonely. But I know this isnâ€™t so, know I was the one sent to comfort and instead drove away. Tonight, with the wind moving over the vast fields of wheat, I will dream of you, a beautiful and striking thing. It will be one of those strange dreams where everything is upside down and I wonâ€™t recognize your face, but youâ€™ll be you and Iâ€™ll smile and youâ€™ll be the dying cardinal chirping and watching me, your crest of feathers flattened on your head. And I will want to stop and hold you, help and save you. But I will drive away, watch you disappear, confused and lonely, in the rearview. I will wake shaking and sweating, lonely and confused. Angry at having to forget about you all over again.
Driving away from dying things
This was written by Robert Herring. Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at 5:09 pm. Filed under Books. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Post a comment or leave a trackback.
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