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Rodney Evan Bohen

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Red, my sensitive winged friend, wherever you are this day, I’m sorry, please forgive me, and please be safe, my friend of heart.

(Excerpt from)
Letters To Carla: Chasing My Heart

My Friend Red

My Dear Carla,

I fly back again, as quickly as I disappeared, into the safety of your arms. Carla, I remember about twenty-five years ago I had a split level apartment in the heights in Upland, with French doors opening off the master bedroom upstairs which drifted out onto a balcony of splendor, affording me a full valley view of wonderment. I one day was visited by a strange and loving friend; I named him Red reflecting his dull but vivid red color, a homing pigeon! I state this fact only due to the band he wore around his skinny ankle, quite a friendly chap, obviously who merely took a wrong turn in life, I immediately identified.

Upon realizing a day later he was going to stay awhile, I scampered off to the Upland Feed and Fuel to obtain an adequate amount of the appropriate food, I made him a house as well. Red seemed quite delighted indeed over the fussing and showering of attention I gave him which was my custom referring to animals and fowls alike. He would roam the skies generally staying close by so as not to repeat his obvious blunder of prior days. He would welcome petting and loved affection. He soon felt comfortable enough to walk inside the bedroom as he pleased, as if he ruled the habitation. I welcomed his becoming relaxed and allowed him to do as he pleased as well.

I would stand on the terrace and watch him in flight feeling as though I was with him in child like wonder since we had become so close. He would fly about often observing me to see if I was still observing him, like a little child he was always craving attention, he reminded me of myself as a child as well, as now I laughingly add, occasionally he would sprint back to the balcony of safety, scared and obviously shook up after observing a hawk observing him. He seemed happy to have a place of safety to shelter him as well as a protector. We spent many happy days indeed flying across the skies handheld in spirit, he ‘tickled me to no end’ to borrow a phrase from my Father. The only annoying thing he would do was come into the bedroom early in the morning cooing and demanding that I awake! He would strut about as a bandy rooster, chest puffed out cooing and cooing, as delighted as I was with my new comrade of now months, I found this quite annoying.

Then it happened! One morning not appreciating the early wake up call, I began to shout at him and yell; he seemed alarmed and perplexed but continued on cooing and cooing. I in anger began to throw things at him such as pillows, Kleenex boxes and the lot, urging him to please return to his balcony so that I could return to sleep! Poor Red, I knew not that a pigeon could show such signs of having his feelings hurt. He gave me chance after chance to repent of my anger and soften my heart, as he dodged the objects in obvious confusion, but yet stayed inside; hurling the hurt looks back at me while backing into a corner to find refuge from the pillow hurling stranger he knew not that morning.

Finally the pillow struck him, it did not my feathered friend any harm in any way physically mind you, yet however hurt him beyond the point of repair in spirit and heart. I shall never forget twenty-five years later the hurt and bewildered look he cast in my direction as he head down slowly walked outside. After I had awoken I found him sitting on the neighbor’s roof staring at me with those pitiful hurt eyes. I was assured he would return upon healing of heart and forgiving me, coupled with hunger, but no, he sat there for three days despite my nonstop beckoning as well as begging. I stood out there on the terrace almost three days attempting to entice him home again with a soft voice filled with remorse, but he would merely stare back sadly and obviously heartbroken! The next day he was gone! I cried as a baby as is my custom over the loss of a friend of such quality, and beat myself up for days and yes to this day for my hasty and nasty temper. I guess I have always thought that people knew as well as animals how much I cared, even though often my actions differed from my sentiment of heart! I obviously was wrong!

I stood many a night and day after that staring into the sky awaiting my charming friend’s return to no avail. Occasionally I would see a fowl way off in the distance, too far away to distinguish, heading in my direction, my heart would skip a beat in the hopes that it was, alas, it was not Red! Most Carla have no idea the pain that returns to me in rehearsing this story of old, I understand it not, this silly little heart that lives within me, but I share this with you, I am pained to this day over the loss of my found and lost friend of that season. I was mean and he left and that's the ‘long and short of it’, again parroting my Father’s words.

There are nights still I shall find myself stargazing and enjoying the majesty of the night, and I shall see a winged traveler coming in my direction, and my heart still jumps and skips a beat. Red, my sensitive winged friend, wherever you are this day, I’m sorry, please forgive me, and please be safe, my friend of heart.


       Web Site: Rodney Evan Bohen

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 4/5/2003
poignant read
Reviewed by Trish - The Trickster 4/2/2003
Teach ya to lose your temper....Great write. Sorry you're missing your friend. ~Trish~

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