The bird with the broken wing stands there in a robe of feathers and looks at you as if nothing is wrong. And you hope and you pray that it's only a sprain, but one wing is perfect and the other one hangs.
For a bird to lose the use of her wings, is an unforgiving accident, if unrepairable. But ours is a wondrous, infinite existence with many intricate planes; the physical, the emotional, the spiritual, the ethereal.
I sat along the shore with the bird with the broken wing, the waves sometimes gentle; sometimes wild. Occasionally she would look up and follow a bird in flight, then lower her head and stare at the horizon with a quiet but confused acceptance.
As the sun started to rise, I thought about all of the birds with broken wings. My mind filled with pictures of all the sizes and colors, slowly filling the shoreline in front of a raging sea. Each called out in its own tongue; honking, screeching, laughing, whistling. They danced up and down while running across the wet sand, their wings lifted at various angles.
The grey water swelled, undulating, bobbing, then loudly cracked as it made contact with land. The morning sky became suddenly hazy, but still the birds called out; invisible within the murk. But I could see them; madly racing, their eyes pleading, filling with hope.
And then, a massive sound. A symphony of wings lifting parallel to the earth, bursting through the fog, fulfilling every promise. The outcasts returned to their rightful home. And when I looked down at my feathered companion I found that I was alone.