by Silvia Di Bonaventura

When she was born, birds stopped still in the sky.
When she was born, the sunshine kissed her hair on fire. The birds sang her name.
Monday.
Monday meant grace, the only kid born in town since twenty years after a chemical loss from a local factory. Her mother at the sight of her swollen belly had thought of a tumour.
Monday always smiled, but her eyes never did. She was fair as a May and vicious as a November.
She could speak with birds.
The poison will dry, they whispered. Women will bear fruits once more.
Tuesday will come, they whispered.
Monday was 3. Her nails dug jealous lines into her palms.
One evening a foreign sparrow came. It landed on her window.
Lead kills fruits, the wise sparrow had chirped. Tuesday sleeps inside Miss Turner.
Monday’s dad traded lead. Wise, wise sparrow.
She dropped lead in the drinking water’s pipes in Miss Turner’s house for two months.
Tuesday had been aborted in a quiet spasm in the toilet.
Monday kept on smiling. She was 6 when Wednesday had been announced.
She waited for the sparrow.
The sparrow flew in a circled path and whispered another secret.
She followed Miss Dahl to the staircase behind the central square.
She pushed.

Monday was 18. Saturday had burnt inside Miss Roth’s womb for an accidental digestion of lye three years before.
The sparrow came.
Sabbath is coming, it said. A knife will do.
She nodded and waited.
The sparrow spoke no other word.
Monday’s smile faded.
The sparrow spoke no other word.
Monday caressed her lap.
I really thought it was a tumour, she whispered, looking down on her swollen belly.
The sparrow flew away. There were other towns to visit.
Monday smiled and took the knife on the desk.

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