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One Santa Clara summer day, in my apartment, the stone cat stared at a plastic rose against a sky so white the window seemed to fog.
And when I opened the door, a sparrow fled in. It flew into an open kitchen cupboard, flitted behind a cup, and stayed there, trapped, No help was coming. My cats were all too interested and eager. I didn’t want to open the cupboard. I went to work and wondered.
When did it make its secret way to a windowsill and squeeze between the glass and screen? Can sparrows, like mice, squeeze into impossibly narrow slots? The next day, I spied it there motionless. The black eyes seemed alive. I wanted to reassure it.
How patiently it must have gazed through glass at cats’ desire and looming human head. Why was I afraid to reach for it? It might flap in my face, fly around the room, around my head and eyes. I took a walk trying to bend my courage, returned, and with a paper towel in hand, walked toward the window. I said aloud, “I’ll pick it up” and couldn’t.
Why could I touch the dotted flesh of headless hens but not a bird with life and feathers? I called the maintenance man. He reached in and held it by a claw. I peered. It was stiff. Up close, it wasn’t plain at all, but lovely tawny, cream, and black. And so light.
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Lita Kurth MFA- Pacific Lutheran University, has published in three genres in journals and anthologies and has had Pushcart nominations in both fiction and creative nonfiction. “Are We Not Ladies,” was nominated by Watershed Review for Best of the Net, 2017. “This is the Way We Wash the Clothes,” (CNF) won the 2014 Diana Woods Memorial Award (Lunchticket). Her creative nonfiction “Pivot,” and short story, “Gardener’s Delight” (Dragonfly Press DNA) were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. A sampling of publications:Atticus Review, Brain,Child, Main Street Rag, Microfiction Monday, The Millions. In 2013, she co-founded San Jose’s Flash Fiction Forum, a popular reading series.