Monday, April 22, 2013

The Sighting

            “There’s a turkey in the yard.”
            He didn’t look up.
            She said it again. “Roger, there’s a turkey in the yard.”
            “A virtual turkey?”
            She was standing at the kitchen window, waving her arm in that frantic motion that he’d come to know meant come here now, and quietly. It was a curious mixture of come! And stay where you are! get here right away, but without movement or sound, NOW.  He didn’t know how she did it with only one arm and a hand gesturing, imploring, demanding, but he knew what she meant.
            He sighed, hoped she didn’t hear, folded the paper, and stood.
            “Roger!” The hand now raised slowly above her right shoulder pointing over her head at something outside. A turkey, she had said. What was a turkey doing in their yard?
            As he shuffled towards her, he imagined a large, frozen butterball turkey on the patio, propelled off some truck lumbering down the alley or a child’s cutout, four fingers outlined as feathers, the thumb the bird’s too plump neck, a crayon dot for an eye.
            “Quiet,” she hissed.
            He didn’t think he had spoken. He was at the window now, just behind her, her bulk blocking his view of the empty yard.
            The yard, what he could see of it, was bare, nearly bare. A hint of bud on the azalea, an early dandelion leaf in the pale grass, a sheet of moldy leaves darkening the small square of cement she called the patio. Probably too early to rake the debris out of the circle of ground he called his Victory 
Garden, victory because it actually produced tomatoes, peppers, peas, and once eggplant although they never ate eggplant.
            I wanted to try something new, he had said when she waved the bulbous thing at him. He didn’t know what to do with it either, and in the end he composted it and pulled the plant before it produced another purple problem.
            “There,” she whispered and moved enough for him to see it, a turkey, a wild turkey walking up to the patio as if invited.
            “Isn’t it wonderful?” she said, leaning back so he felt her body nested into his with such  a warm familiarity that he had to admit it was indeed wonderful, all of it.

© 2013 Kathleen Coskran


  1. Yeah, it was wonderful. Another wonderful story. Thank you.

  2. You say so much in a small space, Kathy. I loved it.