Final Lament

Final Lament

I paddle along a river on a quiet morning. Except for the hoarse “kee-eeeee-arr” of a hawk high overhead, the air is as still as the water. Drifting between the shadow of overhanging trees and the light of open air, I see a lone Mourning Dove on a branch of a dead oak at the edge of a small bluff. The silence is broken as it seems to address me with its lamenting call. As plaintive as it sounds, there is a comforting tone to it, perfect for the serenity of the morning.

I drift past, leaving it well behind me, when, far away, an interrupted cry reaches me. Dragging my paddle to the side of my kayak, I swing around to see the hawk dropping to the ground beneath the oak, dove tightly clutched, reminding me of the fragile nature of my surroundings.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery #1, presented by Björn at dVerse. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For Prosery #1, the line to be included is “When far away an interrupted cry” from Robert Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

Image source: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (edited here)