In A Time of Drought and Hunger
Copyright Gerard Beirne 2011
Published by Fallen Timbers Press at Smashwords
Tom has seen it all before. The Northern Lights wavering through the winter sky, the river ice shearing and cracking with a boom, the intense magenta sunrise reflecting on the ice and soaking through the sky. This is not it. This is not what he feels on these nights or mornings. He has heard the crash of the branches as a grey owl breaks loose of its perch. He has, for Heaven’s sake, lain out on the ice at night on the flat of his back and listened to the hollow thumping of the water below booming like the combined heartbeat of the dead. No, this is not it either. It is certainly not this. What is it then? What else can it be if it is not the moose Tom has tracked and shot with as steady an aim as is humanly possible, or the brittle frazil ice which melts and shatters between his fingers, or the soft hide moccasins his wife glides through their lifetime in? If it is not this, Tom wonders, what else? What else can it possibly be?