by James Richards
Tommy was the first pet I had in Eden, par'a-keet" seemed to fit—small parrot with long tail, the color of apple, new leaf, and lemon; harsh, irritating song. I called it screaming at first but my softer side said, "Song, Adam, song." Eve taught me about mu'sic—a medley of sounds and tones, as of the wind. Cain taught me that some music is hard to hear: "Father, I have killed Abel and buried myself where frozen stars draw black flowers from my grave." That was a song. I clipped Tommy's wings that day, with scis'sors—a cutting instrument, two pivoted blades. I gathered the yellow, green, and dark red shadows in the valley of my palm. Eve sang a music I could hardly hear. I inserted one-by-one into the warm earth of Abel's grave the cool feath'ers—lighter than flowers, less afraid of flying; colorfast and hardened by a harsh song.