You Worry It Might Catch Fire

There’s a boat overturned in the middle of the reservoir. There’s a bird sat solemnly on the sky facing hull of the boat. You’re too far away to discern what type but you try to guess; you think maybe it starts with a ‘C’. Cormant? Cormorac? You’re just making words up now. Note to self: Google it when you get home. The big black bird spreads its wings but doesn’t take flight. Just feeling the breeze push through its feathers, you suppose. The shore in front of you is ochre and tan and unfortunately barren of interesting finds. No shells or forgotten necklaces. There is, however, a terrier further along the shore to your left, barking at the waves. Maybe it’s angry at the water for being difficult to catch. You understand it’s feelings of frustration. I get you, Mr Russell, you think. Some things are hard to hold onto.

The bird is still perched upon its conquered wooden island. Maybe it’s listening to the drone of the hidden motorway nearby merging with the flow of wind brushing the leaves around your head, like you. They are sadly quite harmonious sounds, you think. A plane joins the melody. Even the grass makes a sound as it rubs together, you realise. It’s very tall now in the late summer. Dry. You worry it might catch fire. You think about the warm evenings of your childhood, in the fields behind your house, bikes spread out, flattening the wheat. Or maybe it wasn’t wheat, just grass, (you didn’t really care enough to know) but you liked the idea of damaging something with no repercussions.

Cormorant. The bird was a Cormorant. You checked.


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