THE CHANGE

 

The first thing he noticed

Were the birds

Birds…hundreds…

Circling silently in the big empty blue sky

The trees were empty

The big expansive lawns

The spacious fields

All empty as well

All the birds

Were on the wing

Uncountable blurred specks

Circling endlessly

 

In amongst the buildings

In amidst the red brick

On the scarred and beaten tar and concrete

People still bustled about

Staring into their phones

People really did not look up anymore

And even if they did

They would not have been able to see the blue sky

They would not have been able to see

The mass of birds circling silently

What they would have seen

Or should I say, what they would not have seen

Were pigeons

The ledges and roofs

Normally full

Were all empty

Nothing else had changed

But it was obvious

Something big and significant

Somewhere

Had changed

 

He watched from the hillside

Wondering

Is this me?

Is this personal?

Is the gigantic hoax finally going to be revealed?

And as he turned this question over in his mind

The birds began to fall

Without a sound

Without movement

A surreal downpour of limp bodies

And feathers

Stone cold dead before they hit the ground

 

In amongst the buildings

In amidst the red brick

On the scarred and beaten tar and concrete

Another type of downpour was talking place

A dry metallic clatter

Hundreds of dry echoes of impact…running together

To form a space age chorus

It spoke of breakage

Things shattering

Metallic and plastic breaking and shattering

Then again

Silence

A gigantic surreal silence

A feather was absently carried by the wind

Down the street

Over the beaten tar and concrete

Over the bodies

Over the carnage

Over the silence

 

He became aware he was falling

Tumbling

Head over heels down the hillside

He felt like a spectator

Watching

Unemotionally

Simply a witness

The last thing he remembered

The first thing he realized

Both the first thing he realized and the last thing he remembered

In his known and familiar sphere of awareness

Was he was being helped up

She was speaking to him without sound

Without words

In the great stillness he simply listened

While trying to regain his feet

He wanted to speak

So much he wanted to tell her

So much he wanted to ask

But he knew he couldn’t

 

Not just yet