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Not knowing what else to give him (his mind already launched on some last-chance voyage beyond blame or reason), we ordered this quaint mechanical palm tree (batteries not included), whimsical cast-iron enameled in brilliant tropical colors, meant to whisper with unseen birds. How could we imagine he’d sit here in this chair for hours on end, triggering at several- second intervals a quick-release mechanism to set the stiff green fronds flapping and clattering, amid the chatter of all those screaming, invisible, oh my word, the birds!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2005

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Book: Shattered Sighs