At dawn, I speak to the whooper swan in my garden. Upstairs, my landlord is still asleep.
Below, in my basement apartment, a little home, my home and refuge from the world
of people, I see a glimmer of light. It is time. I throw on an old pair of jeans, sneakers,
a yellow T-shirt, and my mask, an antidote for the human sickness of hatred spreading
across the globe.
Leaving my subterranean haven, I climb the stairs and open the door to the universe
beyond. A gold sun is rising. I smell the sweet earth and my flaming red roses around
the bend. I trudge toward my garden, which is not really mine. Still, it belongs to me. I
nurture it. The old lady who owns it allows me to feed it love with my poetic words and
whispered songs and soulful hands.
I reach my private Heaven and see the familiar whooper swan, an angel in my garden.
“Hello,” I whisper to the majestic white bird with black and yellow bill. The mammoth
creature smiles at me. I move closer and hide within its eight-foot wingspan, my small,
skeletal body hunched over, almost reaching the earth.
“My old olive-colored flesh is tired.” The white angel hugs me with its massive wings,
longer than the little garden I care for. “When will you take me away? I need to fly with
you and soar to the Heavens.”
Now, I listen to the fierce flutter of wings, and a vast sadness consumes my soul. “Don’t
leave!” I shriek silently. But the whooper swan runs away, across the barren street as it
ferociously beats its mammoth wings and sails high toward a gold sun.
Perhaps tomorrow, it will return to my garden. I will speak once more to the whooper
swan and it will serenade me. And together, we will fly away, vanishing from the earth,
in search of a celestial home.