Suddenly, The Bird Swooped

I stayed out there on that cliff for 42 nights, waiting for a message from beyond.

My husband said I was mad and begged me to come home with him.

It was the dead of Winter, after all.

He bought me two fisherman knit sweaters, a torch, a thermal sleeping bag and twice a day a a basket full of food.

The morning basket, a pot of porridge with honey and a pot of coffee.

At night, a chicken soup, rye bread and whiskey.

He loved me, he said, on a note on the bottom of every basket.

But, I wouldn’t leave until it returned, the bird that took Abigail.

Stephen was with me when it happened. He said the bird was grey with an orange beak, but I knew it was black and the beak was the same.

Stephen pointed to a spot 100 yards out to sea when the Coast Guard asked for the instructions as to where to search.

But, I was certain the bird landed on a craggy island of rock, to the left, which the sailors said didn’t exist.

But who’s to say what exists?

In the hospital they told me, in the form I knew myself all those years.

That I was better than the other person who believed that they had a baby named Abigail and a husband named Stephen.