The Smallest Shadow
The day I started bleeding, the kids found a dove hunkered down, roosting in the lavender bush. Spots of red, more spots, then a wild rush. They approached closer and closer, even reaching out to brush a finger along its mottled feathers. It did not appear hurt. Only hushed, still, its wings tucked close in, the crook of its head shaped in a question. Let it be, I said, and shooed them off. The ultrasound showed the smallest shadow. I walked away from the physician’s office, the sun shining hard on the garden, here and there a soft-gray blur in front of my eyes. Soon the bird vanished altogether, dusky image unfixed by nightfall, leaves filling in again as if they’d never been disturbed.