For a week, after his tenth birthday, a raven sat outside Garret’s bedroom window. The bird clung to the branch of an elm tree. He cried, K-Caw. K-Caw. Garret’s mother wondered out loud if the bird had lost someone. She said, "It sounds like he is calling somebody." Garret drew a picture of a raven with a black pencil. His mom taped the paper to the bark of the tree. In the morning, they found the image gone. A feather took its place under the tape. He kept it in a box for sixty seven years. Now it is nighttime in the nursing home. He sleeps with the feather on his bed stand. At sunrise, his aid knocks on the door. She finds the room empty, except for a raven on the sill of an open window. Garret holds his place for a moment. He spreads his wings, for practice. Then he takes a step and the wind lifts him from the ledge.
gravel literary journal