Outside my window, across the manicured lawn and down the sloping hill, there is a pond. Each day its beauty is enhanced and my spirit renewed as the sun colors it two striking shades of green—lime near the bank, deep olive beyond.
Clear as glass normally, this day the surface roils, breaks, and splashes furiously as tiny arms flail in panic. My heart races. My hands sweat. Can I possibly get there in time? In this wheelchair there’s no way. I frantically dial 911. They’ll dispatch someone immediately they say, as I silently grasp the futility.
Days turn to weeks, months, even years. Eyes become weaker. Memories fainter. Life does what it can to compensate for withered legs and tortured dreams. But it can’t be left to life alone, can it? Are we not all responsible for what we keep in our thoughts and what we let go? Would that it were so.
Outside my window, across the manicured lawn and down the sloping hill, there is still the pond. The sun continues to paint it lime and olive, but my spirit is no longer renewed. Yes, my heart beats regularly now. Certainly my hands no longer perspire. But more often than not, I simply draw the shade.
Joe Kilgore’s short stories have appeared in magazines, creative journals, anthologies, and online literary publications. He’s also the author of four published novels. Joe lives and writes just outside Austin, Texas. If you’d like to know more about him and his work, visit his website.