Please select the audio link below to hear an audio version of “Four Days.”
Four days—me recovering– from surgery, and my spouse
taking care of the animals.
The silent donkeys stare when he delivers their hay.
Skookum shuns him and the dog walk and skirts back to the house. Asking at the side door until I come drunkenly to let him in. Gingerly he hops onto the bed and falls heavily –pressed against me.
Rumbling cat curls my stomach. The three of us float in no-time.
The donkeys trudge through deep snow and sub-freezing temperatures to the farmhouse. Arriving at the side door long ears point the door handle and as patiently wait for me to come and push snow with them.
Hope expired they turn away and go out to clip branches and pluck shriveled rose hips above the snowy mantle.
Chippo wheezes and squeaks when Bruce enters the stall bringing food. I learn later “something must be wrong with that donkey.”
But, no, I know
what has really happened is the man has earned his gift–a greeting in donkey-talk.
Face mask, hat, gloves, and a bulky down coat I venture outside to feed my pigeons. My throat is so sore, I cannot ring “woo-hoo” as I always do. The birds look sideways: fluff their feathers: shift foot to foot. Plink, splat, and kerplunk whole corn, peas, and seeds.
Still, even the tame bronze beauty doesn’t know me; none of the pigeons will come.
Feeling a little sad by what’s so quickly lost, I shut the loft door and climb into the Ranger, start the roar, eager for home and my bed