They’re late. Haven’t headed south yet. It’s past that time of year. Off to Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas,old Dixie. Winter break. I hear them singing, but, I do not see them. Maybe they’re hiding. Maybe they got comfortable.
The couple drove south on I95. Past Baltimore, Washington, Richmond. He joked about following birds. Said he could track em; didn’t need a map. She asked if his map was internal, spread throughout his mind, his soul knowing which way to go from past lives. He just laughed. Said, something like that. Lit up a Viceroy.
Where do they go? she asked, twisting her auburn hair and smacking gum. He told her they went south. Could you be more specific? the young girl placed her hand on his thigh.
Southern states, he told her. All over the South. They fly in groups.
It’s called migration, she offered. I learned that in school. Junior high. You ever think that we’re migrating? There was silence.
When we get to Florida I’m gonna take a boat to Cuba, he winked at her. What’re you gonna do little girl?
I’m a young lady.
Right. I don’t know what you are. A mistake I guess. I shouldn’t have picked you up. Taking a big risk. How do I know there ain’t cops looking for you right now? he turned on the radio. Some A.M. all news station.
You worry too much, she placed another piece of Juicy Fruit in her mouth. When we get to Florida I’m going to lay on the beach. Watch the birds fly over.
They looked at each other and smiled. And birds began to fly before them.