Excerpt from “Birdy” by William Wharton ~~Flight~~

In my dream one night, I look up and see the opening; the wires are pulled back. I fly onto the edge of the opening and hop out onto the landing platform. The dream of my dream is coming true. I’m going to fly free.
I fly up onto the top of the aviary. I hop along the roof edge, look down at the ground, then across the yard to the roof of our house. It’s a beautiful day, the spring leaves are open, there are huge, soft, white clouds drifting in the sky. I spring. I loop-swing through the air, feeling the fullness of the wind in the pits of my wings. I look down and the yard gets smaller. I circle once, then land on the rain gutter. The world is bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger because I can see farther, and smaller because I’m looking down on it and know it’s mine, more than ever before.
I fly from the roof almost straight up; straight as I can, not flying to anywhere, just feeling the sky. Then, I fold my wings and let myself drop until my feathers begin to flutter in the wind. I open my wings, catch myself, and fly straight up again, stalling, looping a long lingering loop. I look down.
Below is my yard, all in one piece. I can see all of it without turning my head. I can see the whole baseball field and out along Church Lane to the cemetery. I’m directly over the tree in the corner of our yard. I come down in slow circles looking for a branch on which to land. I find one just on the yard side of the top of the tree. I land and fluff out my feathers. I feel all together. I feel like me to the very tips of myself.
I look over to the aviary. Perta is coming out, standing on the landing board. On top of the aviary are two of my sons and one of my daughters. I think of peeping to tell them where I am but decide to sing. I start to sing in the sunshine and my song goes out into the blue air. I have a sense of drifting into the sky with my notes. I feel I’m a part of everything my song touches. While I’m singing, Perta flies up, and joins me on the branch. She feels what I’m feeling and asks me to feed her. I feed her and sing some more, then feed her again. I fly up over her and in. it’s more than it ever was before. I spring away and fly small circles over Perta. I sing while I’m flying. I’m forgetting I’m Birdy; I’m a real bird and it isn’t a dream.

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1 Comment

Filed under Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “Birdy” by William Wharton ~~Flight~~

  1. William Wharton was the pen name used by Albert William Du Aime, born in Pennsylvania, USA on 7 November 1925, and died on 29 October 2008, aged 82 years.
    ‘Birdy’, his first novel, was published in 1978.

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