There she stands, facing away from me: a dark figure with a slender, long shadow fluttering over the field of flowers behind her. She reminds me of my daughter and of her self-imposed absence from my home. No longer does she consider it safe.
Raising a thin arm, the figure waves a hand and releases something into the wind. It flaps once or twice between the ground-sweeping branches of the weeping willows. Then it flies higher, hovering for awhile, till at last it soars away.
I follow it as it glides this way and that in the direction of a distant oak tree, on the other side of the ravine. Caught up there, at the tip of the highest limb, the thing flickers, its folds steaming in the air like the feathers of a wounded dove.
Hours later, when the diplomats, advisors, generals, suppliers, architects, carpenters, contractors, lawyers, tax collectors and brick layers have all retired for the day, I find myself free to ride out there, beyond the edge the royal garden. On my way there, a magical mist hangs all around me, like tears, suspended.
It must have rained earlier that day, because the soil is soft. It gives way under the hooves of my stallion. Sloshing around that oak tree I come to realize what it is, hanging down from its highest branch: a shred of Tamar’s garment, her coat of many colors. The fabric is aglow in the evening sun, releasing every reflection, every hue of the rainbow, up to the border of a large, irregular stain of browned blood.
David in The Edge of Revolt
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