Barefoot, Wendy Poland paced the wet grass in front of her mamma’s tan-on-tan doublewide. With her left hand, she held to the ear of that same side, her cell phone, its power and minutes nearly expired. With her right, she grasped a single liter bottle of Mountain Dew, the green fluid within flat now from nearly twenty minutes of gesticulating.
“Dammit, Jose,” Wendy said into the phone. “I needed that money. For diapers.”
Wendy looked up from saying this, to see a large crow come to rest on the satellite dish attached to the trailer just above the window of the room in which she and her daughter were staying, “Until things cool down,” she had told her mother.
From the phone at her ear came only the faint ruckus of the restaurant at which Jose worked. Wendy watched the bird shift from one foot to the other, as if the satellite dish was too hot for its feet. She saw in its blue-black sheen, Jose’s shoulder-length hair, straight as new iron. The two shared the same dark eyes.
The crow unfolded its wings and dropped from the dish to the window sill below. There, it looked to Wendy briefly, then turned to the window’s darkened glass and began to peck, strong and steady.
“Jose?” Wendy said to the phone.
The phone was silent but for the distant clink of glass and silverware.
The Mountain Dew bottle slipped from Wendy’s hand.
The crow turned to her again. Its eyes sparkled. A chuckle rose in its dark throat.
“I have to go now, Jose,” Wendy said, “I have to go.”