… knock and it shall be opened unto you.
The sky has turned a thousand starlings down upon my lawn to sift the grass for seed, a dance of shuffle and shrug. Now, as one, they lift to line the easement’s naked limbs like spoiled fruit, and slump there— indeterminate lumps with mock in their eyes, back-lit by a white-board heaven bearing only the smear of erasure. No message. Nothing ahead, I tell myself, but blight and ordeal. And so it is, when grace arrives, it comes disguised as creaturely ruin, slashing a crimson swath across my eyes, steeled to witness another crime consistent with the broad misrule I’ve sworn, in my despondency, my winter heart’s allegiance to. It comes, and I label it harm. Label it wound. But as I turn from the glass, it flashes again: a bright-red crest, a hammer-jolt of boldness brazen on the trunk of a hollowed oak, knocking, knocking. And then, O, then, light curls, as swift as a ribbon on a scissor blade, the sky flings open a thousand doors, a thousand blackbirds lift and wing off, raucous, over the trees, and, in their wake, a lone ladder-back, unfazed, continues his lordly knocking, on the off-chance I might heed and, chastened, seize from a clamorous, end-of-the-world scenario dark with wings, a flag ablaze with pluck, if not victory, brandished above a simple ladder, lowered, it seems, to me.