Pajarita’s Prayer: A Short Story

The day of Pajarita’s liberation came without commotion.

 An ordinary day full of worries and wishes;

an itchy day of discontent but with enough music to make it bearable.

She had been walking forever; she looked at her dusty feet, then her wings.

Her wings were a burden;

 they gave her a false sense of pride. “Such pretty feathers.” 

 She made them fan and she peeked demurely through their silver shadows. 

“Who am I kidding?” She said to herself, disgusted and weary from hope.

 “These things are useless.”

She came to a place where one road became two.

Both roads looked a little pretty and a little ugly.

 Both had crooked houses colored pink, turquoise, adobe.

 Both had bright white shirts and patched pants that flapped 

and chattered in the crisp language of clothes on the line.

Yet there was a discernible fork and one road was not the other. 

The dilemma was that she didn’t know which way to go.

 A  breeze threw its purple shadows here and there,

 fragrant shade, sympathetic and offering the only comfort it could offer..

“Arru, arru. ShahhShahhShahh.”  It whispered.

Pajarita marked the road she was on with a little stone 

And used her wings to fly to the willow.

 Suddenly  the whole blue sky tumbled over on its side; the tree fell too but was limber enough to regain its balance with a gusty heave-up.

A peacock screamed and pierced the fabric of time and space: day was separated from night: and evening was as soft as silk. 

The houses looked like they were keeping secrets, their windows were too wide open like someone feigning innocence; their doors were shut tight.

Pope Francis said,“The kingdom of God does not come in a way that attracts attention.”

Pajarita said her evening prayers and prepared to sleep.

She trusted that the good road would reveal itself if only she sat still.

We Need The Gift

Precious wounded past,

There is no way to leave you behind any more than a river

can leave it’s bed, because where the water goes, there go its banks.

And why would I leave you

before accepting the gift you offer at the cost of a terrible pain?

Patient, you wait, sometimes for years

before I recognize what you’ve offered but always, when I have received your gift I see that my existence

has expanded, inwardly so that the bed upon which my life flows is deeper

and goes to places that were not there before I exhaled,

grateful for the awareness you’ve brought me.

Always, the gifts you bear restore my faith tenfold

and I can barely contain my joy as I try to hold the roving water.

To Eat or Not to Eat

My heart is breaking.

I think ahead to an hour from now

When the day is in full swing,

I’m trying not to feel this way, but everything I want to do seems further away from me.

I want to eat less and exercise more because that is what the media says will be my ticket through the door of good health and good karma.

Eat less, exercise more has been my mantra since elementary school. It was easier to accomplish when I snorted “whites” in the bathroom before sitting in class to learn about Mesopotamia.

How could I care about other civilizations when the size of my jeans was the most important thing?

A good day is measured by how little I manage to eat.

I need to stop trying to starve because it only compells me to feed.

I restricted food for years and years till I got angry and in a fit of tears I felt the pendulum swing to the other extreme.

I want to care about something beyond how much or how little I eat but I don’t know how.

No matter how sublime my philosophy, it all boils down to

“to eat or not to eat.”

How can this be?