carrying a suitcase filled with birds. After the cold winter
air of Lima, Ohio, the sudden warmth of the red planet
hit him like a wave. He wore his best tan searsucker suit,
he swung the suitcase lightly as he stepped onto Mars.
This was his second trip to Mars. The first time,
half a year ago, he’d been struck by the bare violet sky,
awfully empty. He took it upon himself to change that.
When he went back to America, he grabbed every bird
he could, collecting pigeons, sparrows, starlings, crows
and more. They weren’t just random birds picked from
trees and telephone wires, he brought only the birds
mentioned in the plays of Shakespeare. That was
Edward’s mission, the reason for this second trip to
The elevator door slid closed behind him, he
walked across the sand toward a hill. His alligator
shoes slid into the loose soil.
At the top of the climb, he stopped. This was
where it would start. He pictured a statue of himself
placed here, and the birds that would land on him.
He opened the suitcase and there were the Earth
birds, dehydrated and kept in packets.Annotated "Shakespeare's Birds":
This is from my book Home Recordings
(Bird Dog Press, 2009) based on
a story I read about a man in
the late 1800s who imported
the birds mentioned by Shakespeare
into the air over Central Park, NY.
For my story, I changed his name
and his planet.