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from The Kiss by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2020–2021 Shirley Holder Platt

A Round of Robins

A Round of Robins

January 6 - Epiphany

I put the nativity scene in storage until next year. The tree was so dry, it went out with the trash the day after Christmas.


January 7

The robins are here. They chitter in the trees, search beneath the leaves. They remind me of you and better times. We thought we'd stay young and together forever. We were wrong. The birds will pass through, and I'll be left here, missing you. 


January 8

I've been reminiscing too much lately. It's made me blue. I walk through the echoing rooms of this house we built. A home for two, then three, then four. Maybe I'll sell it and move back to the city where memories won't haunt me at every turn.


January 9

Marsha dropped by today.

You should see her. So grown up. All smiles, fresh faced, so like you. She graduated university in the spring. Took a job that pays more than we ever made in one year combined. She tried to cheer me up by bringing flowers. I ran around the house searching for the perfect vase. She grabbed them from my hands impatiently and stuck them in a Mason jar. I went into the guest bathroom to cry. I ran the water while I blew my nose and wiped away the tears. She doesn't need to see her mother like that. She would feel bad about the flowers. They were tulips. Red. Like the first you ever gave me. I took them to the hospice when she left. No note. I left them at the front desk. Maybe one of the nurses will take them home tonight.

But I was telling you about the robins. The sun was near the horizon. Light slanted upward. Overhead, the sky was robin's egg blue. So appropriate, don't you think? And small, puffy, white clouds drifted slowly from the southwest. The robins were loud but invisible until they would lift off the bare winter branches and fly in masse at some natural provocation. The light was just so, and their red breasts shown like jewels with wings. I shut my eyes and imagine...

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