Alone Again

by Paul Rousseau

am on a lone line of mountainous longitude. The trees and brush are so dense the sky, when you can see the sky, looks smudged, or smeared, like God licked His finger and rubbed the heavens. I am in a rented cabin, aggrieved; my wife has died. 

I observe a bird nest perched high in the southern corner of the porch next to a wheezing overhead fan reminiscent of an untreated asthmatic. A bird sits in the nest. Another bird flutters about, aggressively. I retreat inside the cabin. The following morning, the birds slip away to forage. I peer into the nest. Four small eggs. 

~~

The eggs hatch. I watch the birdlings. One falls, dead, its black, dinner plate eyes as big as its head. Soon, there is a trail of ants, recycling. The others survive. Within days, they cautiously perch their fuzzy bodies on the edge of the nest, spread their downy wings, and leap. For two days, they practice the rudiments of flying. Then, on the third day, they leave.

About the Author

Paul Rousseau’s words can be found in sundry literary and medical journals, including The Healing Muse, Blood and Thunder, Intima. A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Months To Years, Cleaning up Glitter, Burningword Literary Journal, Prometheus Dreaming, Dr. T. J. Eckleburg Review, and others. A lover of dogs, he lives in Charleston, SC, and longs to return home to the west.