The Apple Bird


As I step from the jagged remnants of sidewalk into the unmowed grass, I feel the lurch of self-conciousness and guilt.  I am not supposed to be here.  This old orchard isn’t mine, and it isn’t public.  But it isn’t private, either.  Bees warn me away when I brush against the branches that lean toward the ground, tangling their blossoms and twigs in the fine, thin green threads of grass.  A few yards further along the row, where I expect to find quiet, bird song peppers the air like fireworks.  Yellow and black rockets shoot back and forth between the trees, gaining better perches, answering the immediate disturbance I bring.

I feel I have come here to steal something;  to take a precious thing which I am convinced the world will not surrender to me by any other means.  I know it shouldn’t be such a big deal to walk around, uninvited, in a neglected planting of apple trees.  The sheer pleasure of lying down against cold spring ground, and listening to the sky sing to you from behind green leaves is really enough of a reason.  But when you feel invisible, what more crime can you commit than to find a place where you can’t be seen, and take a picture there?


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