A little while ago, I posted a bird drawing for my aunt, who was in a horseback riding accident. In that accident, she broke her neck and three ribs.
When the doctors x-rayed her broken ribs, they found a lesion on her lung. After a biopsy, we have just learned that it is cancerous.
I went to see my aunt after Christmas. I had to drive nine hours to see her, but it was worth it. We went for a little walk; she was still in her neck brace. We talked about chestnuts and wetland restoration. We chatted about birds.
I love my aunt very much. She was the one who taught me how to ride a horse and the one who showed me how to love birds. I didn’t want to leave that day. As I drove away, all I could think was that I should go back.
I think we are all hoping right now that the accident was a blessing which allowed the doctors to find her cancer in an early enough stage that they could get rid of it forever. We are all hoping for a miracle.
When I lived in the foothills
birds flocked to the feeder:
house finches, goldfinches,
skyblue lazuli buntings,
impeccably dressed chickadees,
sparrows in work clothes, even
through the trees. Some of them
disappeared after a week, headed
north, I thought, with the sun.
But the first cool day
they were back, then gone,
then back, more reliable
than weathermen, and I realized
they hadn’t gone north at all,
but up the mountain, as invisible
to me as if they had flown
a thousand miles, yet in reality
just out of sight, out of reach—
maybe at the end of our lives
the world lifts that slightly
away from us, and returns once
or twice to see if we’ve refilled
the feeder, if we still remember it,
or if we’ve taken leave
of our senses altogether.
– Sharon Bryan