She was always called Birdy. The nickname arose partly from her looks. But, it also was because of her nervous ways. She flitted. No other word came close.

Again this morning she was especially anxious. Every few minutes she looked through the screen of the back door. She looked past the old well to the kudzu that was slowly engulfing a tall stand of broom straw. The thick patch of straw ran to the edge of the cut made by the new road. The brand new road.

It was almost 7:15. The yellow bus would pass in a few minutes. As usual she walked quickly down to the well. She removed the faded chenille bathrobe. The early chill made her naked body shiver slightly. She crawled through the yellow straw to the bank of the road. She lay very still. Within minutes the bus rounded the curve out of the deep woods to the north and was soon just below her and gaining speed down the hill. She saw hazy silhouettes through the fogged windows. Within seconds the yellow blur was gone. She lay still for several more minutes before crawling back to the well. Birdy put on her robe and returned to the little kitchen.

I growed up po and ignant in Alabama. Then I went off to college and became a socialistic atheistic business school grad with an MBA. Not wanting to add evil capitalistic bastard to my resume, I obtained an antidote degree -the MFA. What a difference a letter makes. Now I teach college and make art. That's more fun and I'm less prone to drift toward the dark side. So, at the advanced age of sixty.... I have chosen mind over matter, joined the League of Defensive Pessimists and have no better answers, only fewer questions.

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