Every workday my lunch companion and I walked down State Street to campus and back. Every day I stopped at a shop window display to see a hand-carved wooden bird. Every day I laughed: the bird’s smirk-face and bulging bead-eyes reminded me of Ignatz Mouse from the Krazy Kat comics. In that first year on my own, it didn’t occur to me I could buy something like that just because it made me happy. I was content with a window view, but you know how love goes. One day my companion handed me a small white box. In white tissue paper, he had wrapped the wood-fashioned bird. That bird has flown along with me from home to home, each time carefully packed and unwrapped again. Forty years now, and it’s perched on the mantel over my fireplace. Forty years, and I still laugh when I see the pointed beak and upraised wings.
Copyright 2019 by Brian Dean Powers
Photo by the author