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It was nearly 10pm and the pigeon was still there. Rhonda grabbed her cell phone, dialed and listened. She picked up the cordless, dialed, listened and hung up. She pulled a piece of licorice out of a bag wedged between the couch cushions and turned on the TV. There was nothing on. Or else there was too much. She watched two cops track a criminal through downtown Miami. The pigeon had arrived the day before, late in the afternoon. She’d gone outside to smoke and found Bob and Peach huddled in the corner of the yard. Bob and Peach rarely acknowledged one another’s existence, let alone fraternized. She lit her cigarette and stepped over the garden hose, making her way through the tangle of morning glories that owned the yard this time of year. The flowers were more alive than most things. Betty from next door kept begging her to pull them up. “They’re weeds, you know,” she would say. “What do you want with a bunch of weeds? They don’t care nothing for you!” Maybe, but Rhonda admired their stamina, the way that they multiplied night after night. Bob turned his head as she approached and she saw it - a pigeon, cornered and facing the wall. It stood still. It was, she thought, probably dead. This had happened before—a bird found fallen, perfectly in tact, but standing up and dead all the same. The thought annoyed her more than anything. If they were going to maim it, couldn’t they finish the job? The pigeon shuddered. Bob raised a paw and brought it down on its tail feathers. “No!” shouted Rhonda. Bob looked at her. She clapped her hands two times. Bob cocked his head. She lunged at him then, saying to herself, I will kick you, I will kick you, I will kick… hard! Bob turned and fled. Rhonda stomped her foot at Peach, who hissed at her before retreating. She crouched down, to get a better look at the state of the bird. The pigeon angled itself away from her, nestling into the wall. It shuttered a bit as she drew close. “Okay,” she said out loud. “Go on.” She prodded the pigeon gently with a stick. It took a few sideways steps, but made no move to fly. As Bob and Peach crept back towards her, she thought of Kevin French’s 3rd birthday, in a backyard not unlike this one, where Alex Simon had pinned her down and made her eat worms.
Date Written: November 09, 2004