Word Count 233
By Sharon Collins
She sits in the early-morning midst of March-birdsong. Bold Black Birds, greedy Jays, silly Speckled Starlings, Cardinals in their Crimson finery, bashful Mourning Doves, curious Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Downy and Flicker, their singing makes her sad. Their natural symphony, organic and unorganized, a cacophony really, performed from bare birch branches, stark in their nakedness, rains down, impossible to ignore, filling her ears, making it hard to breathe. Her mind knows bird-song cannot drown her, but her heart fears different. She can drown in birdsong. She is drowning in birdsong. She has almost drowned a dozen times already. But She is learning to swim. She has been treading water in the sea of loss for over a year. Of recent, She has even taken tentative strokes toward the shore, grateful for this time in the trough between breaking crests. It has been almost a winter’s season since the last tsunami of grief broke over her, flinging her, tumbling her down to drown into memory. She has stopped looking over her shoulder for the signs and simply enjoys the float. But this morning She feels it building again, getting stronger and louder, like this racket of March bird-song so jarring after the snow-quiet of winter. Birds singing with such abandon, the heralds of spring, rebirth, optimism, joy, all the perfection of hope, her mother loved spring. She does not want to hate it, but she does.