I cried as they built their nest together: Dad Dudley collecting twigs, Mom Dudley placing them just so, each patiently respecting the other's task at hand, until they had woven just the right foundation for their home. Unlike their sense of boundary and purpose in a confined space, my marriage suffocated in the diminutive square footage of our apartment, which relatively speaking is not much bigger than the Dudleys' nest.
I awoke to the incessant cries of twos quabs at five o'clock one morning, signaling their arrival. Although their squeals sounded desperate and anxious, I took them as a good sign that the chicks were healthy, like the relief parents feel at the first cry of their newborn. My husband felt our lack of having children, particularly my ambivalence about it, contributed to the failure of our marriage. I wondered if or whenI'd have a new family.
I yelled at a trespassing pigeon one evening as he picked on the babies, who'd been left alone. The Interloper had them cornered; they squealed for their lives. Enraged, I opened my bathroom screen and dropped a small piece of broken plaster to shoo it away. If only I could rid the other woman from my family just as easily.