I Take a Walk with My Daughter to the Library
and it’s quiet but for screams of circling seagulls overhead. Our Radio Flyer wheels echo off empty concrete. Still, it’s quieter than usual. We see no people. Only the chipper birds, all the birds, circling and swooping the sky that’s now theirs.
I walk in this desolate town that used to bustle at Noon. We get to the library that used to be open. My daughter asks if she can play in the library today. When I tell her no she says, because of the virus?
A person walks by with a dog and I put my mask up over my mouth and nose. I walk away from them. My daughter thank god is already running around the library lawn and doesn’t notice the person and the white, fluffy dog. I don’t have to remind her to stay away.
Downtown Main Street: all the parking spaces are empty; all the storefronts closed.
My daughter picks up a stick and draws a picture of an oval in the dirt. I ask, is it a heart? and she says, no it’s a bird with no wings, and I’m amazed she knows exactly how I feel.
Then she draws a shape duck table—yells it at me three times. I am either deaf or dumb. So many birds keep chirping.
Then she chants, I want to go home, places three shriveled winter berries in my hand, wraps her fingers around my thumb, and leads me down the sidewalk while I trail the empty red wagon behind.