Saturday, March 14, 2020

SOL20 Slice #14: I Hear You Talking

I am participating in the
 Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOL20).  
All participants are sharing stories about moments in their lives, writing 
 every day for the month of March 2020.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

Early morning, Saturday, day two of this national emergency, with all of us isolated in our homes. The day is cool and bright, here in Maryland. I sit outside on my side porch; I just returned the cushions here, yesterday, when I realized that winter really isn't going to appear and we now are fully into spring. The porch is a little treasure, in the midst of this nuttiness world-wide. I can sit quite happily in the sweet air and the silence. 

It is silent, all around. 

No one is up and about but me. 

Oh, the birds are up. One, a house sparrow, flies right up next to me, bonking its head on my house window, wings fluttering against the pane, and then it quickly recovers and flies away, before I have even stopped shuttering from the surprise.

I settle back into my quiet, and I hear another bird's repetitive, "hey! hey! hey!" I am smiling to notice this...I start to realize that it's not quiet at all. The birds are fully alive and noisy in the early morning. I open my journal and listen in, having fun with the birds. Here's what the birds seemed to say:

You! You! You! You! You!
Right, right? Oh dear, dear, dear.
You! You! You!
Let's see. It's me.
You! You! You! You!


Now, now, now, now, yup, yup, yup.
So funny, funnieeeeee, hee, hee.
Oh no, no.


We, we, we.

Just then, my neighbor steps out of the back door of his house, to dispose of some recycling and I call out to him with a big "Hey there! Good morning!" He quips, "Stay right there! Keep your distance! Three feet, at least, right?" We share a driveway, and we joke that this driveway is the perfect distance for getting together yet isolating. He suggests - "Maybe we can have a pizza party, each bring our own, and sit across the driveway from one another."

Strange times. You'd almost say, it's for the birds.


  1. Nice long set up for your punchline. Well played.

  2. Maureen, I love the humor, however dark and macabre, in both your poem and conversation. I love the the way nature sings to us and the way people are turning to nature for respite. I’m longing to drive to Yellowstone. It’s three hours away. But the park isn’t open yet.

  3. That ending is a great one, Maureen. The thought of social distancing 6 feet apart is a new concept as is social distancing. Thanks for a bit of levity today.

  4. Oh gosh, your writing was lovely. the ending tied it all together, just beautifully. Today I'm thankful I happened on your slice :-)

  5. How rich with ponderings is this post! I marveled at the language of the birds that you so beautifully translated and the irony of the social distance that now compels us to coexist at arm's length.

    I felt the delight of your morning communion with nature and the frivolity with your neighbor even under the harshest circumstances. Thank you for sharing this literary gem. It was most enjoyable.

    ~Carla Michelle