A scarred branch digs into my belly. Sunlight passes in streaks through gaps in the leaves. Lime green, grass green, stripes and splatters hide me.
Beneath me, you’re writing, and I need to see. Are you writing about me? This need consumes me all summer. I look for the book in your room. I follow you after you have written, but you elude me.
I’ve been here since I ran from the dinner table, her voice screaming after me.
I’m too high. I know that the moment you open the book, pull out your fountain pen. The blackbird-song from the orchard battles with your scratch. Can’t see him, can’t see me. I can’t see. One move, I’m no bird, a twig will crack, leaves will betray me.
I can be cat, brown dapples in the green, unseen enemy of small fur and feathers, slide, slip along. The scrape on my legs tells me I’m making progress.
How close must I be? The bough dips, I’m lower still. Can I see my name in there, or hers? You’re scribbling, black scrawl indecipherable.
I lean. Twigs claw my face, tug on my shirt buttons. I put my hands out, grasp the leaves, then I’m flying like the blackbird, and the text is getting nearer, and you look up.
Blackbird wings beat in my head. There’s grass between my teeth, ink on my skin. A torrent of anger in your voice pours over me.
I sort my limbs from yours, as the script scores tracks through my mind.
I can hear her screaming as she thuds down the lawn, … I’m too old for this … you come here now … what will your mother think … I’m not letting you out of my sight again!
Nothing matters, now. I’ve read the words.