Bird

by Angela Rebrec

 Artwork by Yvonne Hanson

Artwork by Yvonne Hanson

 

When you were seven you barely kept up
behind me on your six-speed as I jogged the trails.
Often you dismounted, walked your bike over rocks
and tree roots, around puddles. Sometimes I pushed you
up hills. How I yelled Go go go! on the downhill
but you wouldn’t, braking instead, afraid
to wander from eyesight, afraid of the slope
atop the embankment. I called out
Small number going up! Big number going down!
between breaths, one eye on my footing, the other on you,
but you did neither—then your chain slid off.
The time we stopped for a sea green leaf—
not a leaf, a hatched robin’s egg—nearly emerald.
The salmonberry leaves resting in the mud beside it
almost obscured it from view. I jogged all the way home
with it cupped in my hand so you could place it in the mason jar
with that pale egg we found the previous spring.
When you stopped and asked Can I see it again?—
touched shell where a piece hung from membrane,
then looked up, the tree-tops swayed like fingers
rearranging clouds—you wondered out-loud:
What would it feel like to be a bird, mom?
Would I be scared so high up in the trees?
Now that you’re ten, we come to our forest
and you gear up and down hills, take the jumps off-trails,
race the path atop the ridge beside the highway.
I jog behind in search of hatched eggs discarded under bushes,
lodged in mud within leaves of autumn’s scrapheap.
When the trail branches, I’m never sure which path to follow.


Angela Rebrec is a writer, singer and graphic artist who works as a longshoreman to help fund her many passions. Her writing has appeared most recently in EVENT, Grain, Prairie Fire, Pulp Literature and The Antigonish Review. Angela’s work has been shortlisted for several awards and contests including PRISM International’s Non-fiction Contest. She holds a degree in creative writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey, BC) and currently facilitates weekly writing workshops with elementary aged children. Angela lives in Delta, BC with her husband and three children on unceeded Coast Salish lands.