I wanted so much to be the girl in a red dress bending to pick a blossom in the middle of a field of poppies; or the woman in a blue dress carrying a parasol through it, with a little girl at her side. Any one of them, actually: girl, woman, child. Each one vivid with color, flushed from the noonday heat, coming or going in the benign countryside. I wanted to be the chipping sparrow emerging from the lilac, wings brushed just faintly with scent. But I confess sometimes I do not want the bird to answer the high-pitched cries of nestlings. Not immediately, at least. You think that’s a terrible thing to say? Well, I feel it sometimes. Their cries pursue her asleep, awake. Each tufted button’s a homing device; rows of them, like lights lining the field in an airstrip. I wanted a house of my own leaning against a hillside. I wanted simple wood floors, wide ledges for sills. I wanted air, a light more generous than milk, spilling through every window. Even wild things know about caution. Even wild creatures need to preserve what’s left of the husks they have, for the coming months lean with cold, lined with the twigs of their brittle age.