Sometimes she's Confucian-- resolute in privation. . . . Each day, more immobile, hip not mending, legs swollen; still she carries her grief with a hard steadiness. Twelve years uncompanioned, there's no point longing for what can't return. This morning, she tells me, she found a robin hunched in the damp dirt by the blossoming white azalea. Still there at noon-- she went out in the yard with her 4-pronged metal cane-- it appeared to be dying. Tonight, when she looked again, the bird had disappeared and in its place, under the bush, was a tiny egg-- "Beautiful robin's-egg blue"-- she carried carefully indoors. "Are you keeping it warm?" I ask--what am I thinking?-- And she: "Gail, I don't want a bird, I want a blue egg."
From They Can't Take That Away from Me by Gail Mazur. Copyright © 2000 by Gail Mazur. Reprinted with permission by The University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.