“I can’t leave you here,” she said, “the mud is deep and your tires are bald.” I didn’t know tread but I went along, placing my boots behind her steps, like a silent chorus line, slowly advancing in the muddy snow. “You’ve got wings,” she said. “Use them,” but I knew she was just being kind. “Don’t slip,” she said next, which I took to mean she doubted the wings too. “Keep your knives sharp,” she said, as we jumped a greyish sinkhole although I didn’t know how to grind dullness out. “With a blood stone,” she added, “and a wing feather,” that last part making it all impossible again. “Don’t lay your eggs too early,” she whispered as we stepped out onto the thin grey-line cracks.
Ruth Lehrer is a writer and sign language interpreter living in western Massachusetts. Her writing has been published in many journals such as Lilith and Jubilat. Her poetry chapbook, Tiger Laughs When You Push, is published by Headmistress Press. Her young adult novel, Being Fishkill, is available from Candlewick Press. She can be found at ruthlehrer.com
Artwork: Alphonse Mucha, Winter 1896