THE CAPON EXPLODED OUT OF THE PRESSURE COOKER AND STUCK IN the kitchen ceiling. It hung there like a black chandelier. People took turns trying to pull it out with no success. Its charred head poked out of the roof and acted as a weather vane. The wind polished it until it gleamed like a well-worn doorknob. We adjusted to the smell of burnt bones and carried on. In the 9th century, Pope Nicholas decreed that a cock had to top every church steeple in Europe. Our home was a holy place. We worshipped all that walked. All that flew.
ON A SAD WEDNESDAY EVERYTHING IS SOAKED EVEN THOUGH IT HASN’T rained in weeks. After the guests leave, you stand in the hallway wondering what to do with their suitcases and the abandoned dog. On Wednesday, the frayed noose hanging over the tree branch is just a rope swing the kids rode through long summers ago. In the bookcase, Bury Me Standing leans against Black Letters. In one, portraits of the poet, the politician, the child prostitute. In the other: visionaries and extremists. Both are unread on the last bitterly cold Wednesday of the year. A hummingbird sings a single note, the needle-pointed intensity of which stops you in your tracks. Where can you go to find the lost legends and songs? The time of wandering gypsies has passed but on this sad Wednesday you see them. The moon on the wane, their tin lanterns trembling on the waters.