Good Belongs to You

by Michael D. Brown

I hope you enjoyed the celebration last night. Good things always come to you. I thought your family would never go home.

I didn't get to sleep this morning until 2:59, although I had set my alarm to 6:10. I didn't want you to miss your plane. At daybreak, through a half-opened eye I saw you putting on the black pants you had already worn three times last week, and wondered if you had slept at all.

I wanted to tell you of the dream I had had of the two of us in a rowboat, with only one oar, heading toward the rapids, but I realized if I spoke you would ask me to make a pot of coffee. Every atom of my morning belongs to me. I rose when I heard the front door click into place behind you.

A crow was sitting on the roof of the Chevy. That's what told me it was not a hot morning.

The small window facing the patio is so grimy, I can't always tell when it's raining. I have always been envious of the large picture window your parents had, but I suppose if we had one, I'd have to clean it. They have Martita to clean theirs.

When you called from the airport in D.F. at 5:30, I noticed the crow or one of its fellows had returned to the yard, but defiantly, or carelessly, it perched on the broken-glass topped wall between us and the neighbors. It seemed to be eyeing the spot where your car had been in the morning.

I stubbed out yet another cigarette, turned off the radio and washed my face and hands, sniffing fingers to make certain they did not retain tell-tale odor or marks. I had a half-hour or so to concoct a reason for the car not being where you'd left it. I assumed you'd assume the transgression was my fault.

Of course, when your father calls you will go ballistic.

I thought the crow might have a solution, but when I looked, it had flown.

I hate those ugly black birds. I think it's true that spotting one is a sure sign of bad luck.

Who knew tiny shards of glass could be so problematic.

At least when your parents return, your mother won't have to worry about who will clean that large picture window anymore. But the mess is going to be a bit more than Martita can handle.