Tuesday, 1 May 2012
MayDay Flash - 'May Day' by Cathy Lennon
Sunbeam lances bury themselves in the forest floor. I like to see them pierce the ground. They glance across the lolling tongues of ransome leaves, gilding the green. There is a gentle morning breeze that makes their flowers bob, white pom poms to salute May Day. It is a Spring dance and the bluebells nod along. I join in too with little flutters of appreciation. It’s good to be alive on a day like this.
The melody of birdsong, pitch perfect praise for the blue sky and the soft air, is our orchestra. Even the woodpecker stops his hammering, now and then, to tilt an ear. There is nowhere else I would rather be. This is my place, my home, my territory. It is all I’ve ever known. From the height of the canopy I can see faraway places. A church spire and a cluster of roofs, their chimneys coughing curls of smoke. Hills rise in the distance, their flanks are dressed with seasonal motley. Now green and gold, they’ll flush with purple later. But their stubbled plains are not for me. I like the green, the sway, the height. Even the black bones of Winter have their charms.
The human voices coming close don’t worry me. I know my friends have long since gone. The rabbit and the deer took flight, the sleeping fox pricked an ear. When first the pain did strike me, the nesting blackbirds peeled themselves away, sounding alerts into the distance. Below they work at me. I feel an agony that only worsens. I bleed.
The horizon tilts. I say goodbye to the hills. Men come from the village to carry me, their sweethearts swinging baskets, laugh along. They hack and strip and hoist me high. Ribbons they bring, to be my funeral shroud. ‘It’s May Day’, they sing. They dance. I die.