The trees bleed green for the girl on the swing. It’s a picture perfect scene—a clear creek rolling through, a breeze riding the back of the sun. Her bare feet stick out from the layered skirt and drag through the grass as her dark hair flows behind her. Then you see how it really is a picture. You pick up the horizon and watch the edges curl in your hand. The color runs and drys in splotches. The paper flakes specks of paint. The light has faded the skin, leaving an empty face. Dust covers the sky. Held at an angle, the trees are over-powering, closing in. Soon grass and wood and water will rise up, and the girl will swing on, motionless. The painting is old, very old. Any living thing at the point of conception has passed into darkness. You hastily drop the picture, but it is too late. A coldness lingers, a chilly breath. You are mortal, too. On the floor, the girl keeps swinging. You watch her swing; you watch her fade. Already you are stained paper, waiting to dry and wrinkle.
Swish, swish, here we go another time. Use the hot water and the soap. Scrub your own skin as if you want to get away from it. Pinch, pull, tear the flaws out. If only one could cut the unwanted flesh out with a knife and flush it down the toilet. Stare at yourself in the mirror and pick at your face. Another night, another 30 minuets wasted at the bathroom sink only to walk away read, swollen, and defeated. Is there really no answer or solution? Is there no hidden magic that will turn a face beautiful again? Once more day of self-loathing- one more day of neglect and shaming. No wonder our society feels the need to shower everyday.
Hello, little sparrow with your feathers disheveled and sparkled with dew, what do you have to sing about perched against a grey sky? Does your son return home from overseas today or maybe you have filled your retirement account? Have you eliminated inter-city homelessness and given the young ones food to eat? Is it possible you have removed corruption from government or created a way to preserve nature? Hello, singing sparrow with the wind pushing against you, perhaps you can tell me all the answers I need to know.