That late afternoon toward the end of summer, you wrapped your naked head in silk and we took the cat for a walk around the yard. You moved with deceiving ease, but gave me the leash to hold. A distant lawn mower serenaded us as we strolled inside the slow exhale of the sinking sun, our bare feet savouring every blade they bent.
As the golden light stretched our three shadows over your Mom’s petunia beds we came across a lone, black bird nestled atop the low bush beside our path. It didn’t seem injured, nor did it so much as blink. I instinctively wanted to shoo it away before you noticed it. There wasn’t enough time. You said what I was thinking and abruptly requested we go back inside.
We busied ourselves with other things. The cat yawned and purred as he surveyed the darkening world from his window seat. It wasn’t long before you asked me to go check and see if the bird was still there, and watched with feigned nonchalance from the living room as I walked to the kitchen window. From there, as I squinted into the twilight, I saw it had moved closer to the house and was perched on a deck chair, still as granite. I told you it had gone. You knew I was lying.