@2014 Mary Anderson Parks
I stand in one corner of the room, barefoot on the polished floor, certainly it was not I who polished it, staying off the oriental rug, waiting for a message to come to me. I hope no one enters the room while I wait but if they do I have a plan. I will leap headfirst out the open window like a comet into the softly turned earth around the flowerbeds. If on the other hand. . . I look at my hand and slide the wedding band off easily. I’ve not been eating much. Leaning forward, I fling it expertly through the open window. If a face, a body, a hand even, were to appear in the window, what would I do? There are not many choices if that happens. I could move to it and kiss the face or the hand. No way will I flee through this room’s door. That would lead me deeper into the house and be a kind of death. It is bad enough to be huddling in the corner as I am now, afraid to step on the rug, afraid to go to my chair by the window. This has not happened before, and I feel something catch in my throat, like a bird trapped there. But what now! The bird alights on the windowsill, a small brown bird that looks right at me in a friendly way. It tweaks its head to one side and I hold still and wait, knowing the bird sees the smile inside me and then the bird, as it must, flies away, and I, as I must, stand and step one bare foot onto the rug and then the other and roll my feet to the window. When I am next to it, on bare floor again, I lie down on my back. I can see the blue sky, a blessing to the prisoner who is I, and when he comes home tonight, he will find me here.