Into the Night
by D. Smith Kaich Jones
The scent of the air changes with each wingstroke, changes with the coming of dusk, night moving closer, changes with each leaf that floats to the ground, at last letting go of autumn’s magic. No wind nudges them from the branches, just a final goodbye and they drop, it is over, and the scent of the air moves easily across the almost empty trees, the coolness a playground in the sky, few wingstrokes needed now, just a glide, a long swoop, the coming darkness a joy, the solitude a gift from the gods.
It is a different silence up this high, the silence of movement, the small sounds of man muted and unimportant, but it is his last winter, and even those sounds are savored, tucked away to remember later when his wings grow tired of flight, and he closes his eyes as he dips, listening for the noise of children, for their surprise when they see him, and then up again he soars, leaving the treetops and laughter behind, opening his eyes and heading into the now-here night, the full moon his compass, the stars his guides, and he wishes only for one more summer, the sound of cicadas always such a pleasure, but thankful for this one last look at the bones of the trees.
He sees a mouse and lets it be.