The Bird Who Winked

The Bird Who Winked


The lake lingered beneath a shroud of New Year’s mist. It called to me.
I stood on the old abandoned jetty, the one my father had built, eyes skimming purgatory, imagining the freezing embrace of what lay beneath. I did so daily, but wished not to.
The impulse to do what I’d so far refused bordered on impassioned, I teetered on the point of madness. Jump, said the voice. We need you, said others.
I would have done so, wished to do so, strived to, and might but for the intervention of a trilling call. The robin perched on the rotting gangway in stark defiance of the bland mist at its back. I can beat you it said, though I knew the it was my Nanna — she’d always loved robins. The bird fluffed up its feathers, the low sun catching its breast to burn fierce and red, and trilled out a long thrilling call. It inspired. She inspired. And from somewhere deep within, a place I’d thought lost, a passion for life resurfaced.
“Not today,” I said to everyone and me. “See you tomorrow,” I smiled to the bird who winked goodbye.

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