It rarely is what it seems. And sometimes it holds everything that is.
You might as well all know. Mazie and Poe and I ended up in Northern California.
On that first night, we needed nothing more than safe harbor. Mazie needed some emotional relief. And Poe needed most of all to be released from his confinement.
We drove direct to the home of our friends Mary and Al. They’re family friends and to tell the truth we had nowhere else to go. We parked in their driveway at their small mid-century stucco home. They weren’t home. But they had a decent sized yard and so we took Poe straight back there and let him out beneath a towering redwood. He hopped away distressed and set his distance. I fed him bits of pizza and old meat and whatever I had with. A cat appeared and I barked at Mazie to hold the cat back, but she had a hard time doing it.
I thought maybe Poe could hang out in this yard for the evening and that he would be safe. But I was way wrong. There was no respite to be had here. I called Michael from Holy Cow and then Maryanne, but no one was picking up. Spent, I rounded Poe up and put him back in the dog carrier. Mazie was frazzled and upset herself. She needed as much tending as the bird. Why was the bird getting it all, she asked?
Because if he doesn’t get what he needs, he’s going to die, I said.
We piled back in the car. Because it was now time for Mazie’s school orientation.
We drove the scant six blocks to Mazie’s middle school where, in five days, Mazie was going to settle in to where she was going to spend the next year of her life.
Mazie didn’t want people to see us with the bird. So we left Poe in the car while we entered the school gymnasium. It was filled with a crowd of white middle to upper income folk. Which I guess is what we now were. The principal, a warm and nice man, introduced the school and the various programs and what children and parents could expect. It was going to be a wonderful year, he said.
As we exited the gym, tears welled up in Mazie’s eyes. I don’t want to go to this school, she whispered.
Mazie and I no longer knew how to live in this world.