The Clairvoyance of the Blinded Eye
Because the ordinary citizens were responding so well to our pleas for assistance,
the authorities decided we must be faking it. We weren’t homeless and we didn’t have
hungry children and jobs were waiting for us to return from our vacations.
They tried sending us home, but the cardboard walls made them angry. A
policeman thought our stomachs were singing and tried to find some harmonies. He
wanted the sound of unexpected waterfalls because it was Christmas and there was too
much snow and his parents lived in Hawaii. We felt sorry for him and offered him folded
newspaper swans and the telephone number of Jesus and all the degrees we had been
saving. We had already given all our pets to passing motorists so that no one would eat
them though some of the motorists may have.
We ate the holster of the fallen policeman who had joined us in protest, although he
no longer understood what we were protesting, and we had a contest to remember his
name, but no one won.
Then the ordinary citizens quit responding. And the new policemen looked too
clean and well-kept and the citizens didn’t believe they knew the truth about us either, not
until they were laid off and a few of their stomachs began singing something like badly
harmonized Christmas carols and their uniforms started to smell like cabbage.
Then the authorities decided those men could never have been policemen at all and
they sent everybody home again and we wrote “window” on our cardboard with the pens
they had given us to sign the evictions. Most of us climbed out before our sagging walls
collapsed in the onslaught of water cannons, but the dreamy ceilings had never been
properly anchored to the falling walls and we used them to collect rain for drinking water
most of the next day.
The citizens watched and envied our pleasure at the temporary satisfaction of our
endless thirst. The citizens begged us for a taste. We held what was left of our homes in
our hands, where it slept peacefully while we opened our doors and let the clouds back
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.