Wednesday, March 28, 2018

My Mother Reminds Me About Death by Copper Rose

My mother’s story reminds me of the time Neal and I went to Alaska, and the Beluga whales had got caught in the mud flats when the tide went out. They lay in the summer Alaskan sun, baking, dehydrating. It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen. You couldn’t go out there because the risk of getting caught in the mud and having it suck you in was just too great. No one could save them. In fact, if you tried and lived to tell about it, the local authorities would fine you for doing it.

My mother mentioned how she was coming home from Grandma Katink’s. There was a lot of snow on the ground and it had drifted high against the fence around the last curve before she reached the highway. 

While she was driving she noticed a bird flying and then it would stop short and fall. She slowed down so she could keep watching it. How odd, she thought.

It did it again and again, so she backed up and got out of her car. From the road she could see there was a string wrapped around the little bird’s leg. The string was caught in the snow fence.

Mother climbed through the deep snow in the roadside ditch and began making her way through the drifts, but with her weight on the fragile crust she kept breaking through. She tried to reach the little bird as he tried again and again to fly, only to be pulled back by the string. 

She was getting closer to the bird but still had a ways to go when the crows came. A small flock. They settled down around the little bird. 

Mother cried all the way home.

Copper Rose perforates the edges of the page while writing unusual stories from the heart of Wisconsin. Her work first appeared in FlashPoint: Inner Circle Writers’ Group Flash Fiction Anthology. She also understands there really is something about pie.

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