Migrating Bird

 By Nicole Brogdon

      I’m napping midday when a white bird crashes through the window, landing on my bed. Dazed and wild, the creature stands and weaves. The heron reminds me of my mother in her single days. I’d know her anywhere—that white skin, those long pale legs, that aquiline Polish nose, sloped now into a beak. 

      The bird tucks her webbed feet under her body, ducks her head, and springs into my ear, straight through the eardrum. The drum breaks inside me—like that painful brain virus in childhood, my head in my mother’s lap. While I was recuperating, she paid me quarters to write fairy tales. 

       Today Mother has flown into my head to tell me she’s dead in upstate New York. She who birthed me through her belly, has entered my ear canal. Message received. She propels through my mind, exiting the other ear, soaring up through the ceiling, leaving a her-shaped hole in the roof plaster. Leaving a mess. In that way that dead people have, of not cleaning up after themselves.

       I lie here awake and motherless, bloody ears throbbing. Eyes open. A patch of blue sky visible through the bird hole above my head. White particles, feathers and plaster, drifting down like snow. Always, that woman could make me see in a whole new way.

                                                            *   *   *

Nicole Brogdon is a trauma therapist in Austin TX interested in strugglers and stories everywhere. Her flash fiction appears in Flash Frontier, 101Words, Dribble Drabble Review, and elsewhere. 

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