At the foot of the fat-trunked ash one starling lies, open-chested dead. Emerald edges of the wing feathers catch the sun. In the branches above, the life of chatter persists. One starling barely expects to be missed, and it need not be a gloomy thought. A raw bravery it takes, for a person to be content with such; starlings are born to the mass, unquestionably, expendably part of something. I turn the still bird over, gently, into the grass where the ice twinkles: commend it to the earth.
Ice under sun throws uncountable gems: Dog and I crunch through a fortune.
I seek distraction. Back at the cottage, a combination of mould and bad housekeeping has made an unfortunate impression on my bookshelf in the little office room. The shelf of comfort books: some held since infancy.
Up through the brook, over the wide curved field. The ice is melted here, except in the shadow of the old barn. Ice in shade has no light to refract. When the sun moves to find them, each crystal here will shine into extinction.
What is gone, is gone. Keep the lesson, not the textbook.


Lisa Southard said…
It was not a pleasant discovery, but some of them may survive another few years after vinegar treatment. It made me look more closely at things I have but may have outgrown: and it sparked a few story ideas. Things may or may not happen for a reason, but there is always the opportunity to find reason in a happening. 24 hours later and the blessing is more apparent than the curse. Apologies for bringing tears! xx
Suze said…
They were good tears, sweet Lils. Tears at something that matters. The books but also the starling, and the crystals shining into extinction with only you and, now, me to see them.

Keep the lesson, not the textbook actually rang deep and clear inside me. This was just such a beautifully-written post. Achey.
Lisa Southard said…
Good tears- kind of good news- they are therapeutic! I don't know what took the starling- maybe just time- maybe a crow- always a memento mori in the countryside. And yes: keep the lesson. Much easier to read than to do of course!

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