the mouse was hidden in the belly of a swan. the swan found some cheese someone left by a bench overlooking the pond, and though the swan did not care for dairy, ate the cheese anyway, hoping to feed the mouse something it liked. the mouse covered his face with his paws, so his whiskers would not tickle the swan. a child saw the swan and began to shout. the swan swam over to present itself to the child and untucked its wings gently, so as not to disturb the mouse in its belly. the mouse could sense the presence of the child, and uncovered his whiskers for a moment. the swan got tickled and flapped its wings, causing the surface of the pond to ripple and stir. the child cried out and jumped with joy. the swan got scared when it saw the commotion in its reflection, and began to rise out of the water with exceptional strength. an old lady walking along the path began to smile for the first time this day. the sun saw the old lady’s smile and brightened up the world. the child yelled out at the top of his lungs. the mouse began to squeak, as it tried to keep its footing, and something dislodged from above and fell right beside him. he happily spent the remainder of the day in total darkness, floating out upon the pond, nibbling on the cheese. the old lady was home listening to the radio, sipping cognac. the boy was a mile away, lying on his belly, drawing pictures of the tv.
an easy recycling of a difficult time
They landed carelessly on the bench and caught up. A duck waddled past them and floated itself in the pond. The lamps were beginning to respond to dusk, and passerbys grabbed their coats around them to keep warm. Not a second went by where a leaf would not take flight and spiral to the ground, and the path was crunchy underfoot. They drank tea from paper cups and decided how they might make use of the night. There was a rooftop to situate themselves with a lesser known vantage of the skyline, west by northwest. They could hang their legs over the ledge and let worries fall away. They had known one another for years, yet it never felt stale; sometimes united, other times more divisive. The lights on the skyline got blurry with tears, still beautiful in an abstract sorta way, the shattering and scattering of every straight line. An easy recycling of a difficult time.
cut about the face
a cut above
on a pond
Katya Mills, © 2013