Friday, January 08, 2010

Entry #47

Stranded
by J. Randick


I can’t tell you where the hawk goes once he has left the periphery of skeletal branch and steel grey sky. I wish I knew.

“Papa.”

“Yes son.”

“Will it be cold?”

“It’ll be warmer than an August day under the eaves.”

Perhaps I never have to know. It’s enough the hawk lingers, its wing tip brushing against a crystalline dawn.

“How do you know about my secret place?”

“I know everything. You’re my son.”

“Not everything.”

“You’re right. Not everything. What do you do in your place under the eaves?”

“I play. And I’m not afraid.”

“You never have to be afraid again. Take my hand.”

Soon he soars out of vision. The sky is strange and empty without the black silhouette of wing and quivering, rounded torso. It feels like the hawk has kept its vigil for hours, but I know it must only have been moments. I already miss it, the way it split heaven and earth in graceful latitude.

“I’m scared.”

“I’ll be right here. I’ll never leave you. You’re my blood.”

“Your blood?”

“My blood and breath.”

“The snow -- hurts.”

“Think of your place.”

“I’m cold.”

“Under the eaves, it’s warm. Think hard and don’t let go.”

The mountain air bruises blood, turns breath to ice. The hawk returns, pivots and wheels through the hoary blast of wind. I follow, until I have found where the hawk goes; the wood beam crosses the eaves, my son’s hand in mine.

27 comments:

Bernita said...

"I already miss it, the way it split heaven and earth in graceful latitude." Such beautiful writing, such pathos in this piece.

Four Dinners said...

If I'm honest I'm not entirely certain what's going on.

That isn't why I read it three times though.

I read it three times because it was just so beautiful to read.

Thank you.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Beautiful piece, beautiful death.

Preeti said...

Sigh.
Beautiful.
Speechless.

lena said...

Really very beautiful. Loved reading it.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I'm not sure if they died or found their way to safety, but I love this.

maybe genius said...

Very lovely and touching image of father and son. Wonderful prose.

Aniket said...

Bernita picked my fav. line too.

I lingered over it a while before I went ahead. And even now as I comment - Its stuck with me. Like others agree - Beautiful writing.

pjd said...

In the very end, when all else is gone, the only thing a father can offer is comfort.

You nailed it. Beautiful writing, clean and noble. Intensely poignant.

Craig said...

Immensely touching and well paced.

JaneyV said...

Breathtakingly beautiful.

Kartik said...

I didn't quite understand their predicament, but the piece was lovely to read nevertheless!

laughingwolf said...

exquisitely wrought...

SzélsőFa said...

their relationship is touching. a very sad and moving piece.

austere said...

Very beautiful.
Given the odds.

Chris Eldin said...

This stirs such deep emotions in such few words. Poignant and beautiful and sad...

kashers said...

A moving respectful piece. That is, a respect for the cause of danger, and fear itself.

catvibe said...

Lovely and poetic to read.

Laurel said...

So pretty and moving. I love this one.

You never have to be afraid again made me misty. You're the first one to choke me up so far.

Anonymous said...

the way it split heaven and earth--best line. The piece blends memory and fantasy, empathy and longing. It would be even better without the first line. Just start with Papa.

David Blanton

Terri said...

Very touching; beautifully written.

Jean Ann Williams said...

For some reason, the father is taking them to die? We do not know why.

Beautifully written. This reminds me of Abraham and Isaac of the Bible. How Isaac trusted his father. Only the outcome in this piece ends differently.

Jean Ann

Jean Ann Williams said...

I reread the title and that makes me think that is the clue as to why they die.

Even more compelling! I'd chose this one.

Jean Ann

Stephanie Green said...

Pure beauty. My desktop is covered in tear drops.

Deb Smythe said...

I'll have to have read again for full understanding. But I already love the prose.

james r tomlinson said...

I've often thought about how cold it is for those birds perched out in the elements. Nicely written.

Jean Ann Williams said...

I'm rereading all my first choices and this one made my eyes fill with tears.

Now, I understand, they are stranded and the father is telling the son to take his mind to his safe place that he goes where it is warm.

I love this! Don't like it, only that they are dying hand in hand. So sad!!!

I'm choosing this for one of my ten!