A Swallow Suddenly

At the edge of the riverBill trips. As he falls his glasses swoop, his dentures fly out. Suddenly a swallow darts through his old shadow. Bill hits the water face up. Willows whisper where he drifts eyes wide to the wing-sung sky. An August moth lights on his lip but Bill is far too dazed to complain. Swallows about him sweep and dip. Knowing he's safe a wood thrush sings.

The river takes him slowly south. He floats on his back and closes his eyes wondering why it has come to this. The summer is always, the wings are ever ... At last he swings against a dock.

Forgetting how long he's clung to things, Bill hangs on. Hours are like years. Then without warning a face appears above him: "Are you William Clinton?" Somehow pathos and humor meet.

Out of the summer water comes Bill's voice: "That's my name. What's yours, officer?" Now as the Mountie's hands reach down - out of the blue, a swallow suddenly darts between.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.