Leia Rahman. That is my name, and that is all I have in this silvery mess of a place.
Not that I have to be here for long. I just need a little bit of gold from that golden tree- just a little bit. I can have that right? Can’t I?.. Don’t have anything else. I don’t need anything else.
The grass can be mean- really mean-sometimes, but this time they part smoothly. They seem to sing in the night wind that blows and then stops and then blows again. It feels like a feeling – that wind- like some emotion crashing, pounding into my face.
Why was I here and where would I go- could I stop- would I be allowed – none of that matters. Not to anyone, not to me.
I feel the dragoon rise in me, & the mouse & the cricket & the slave, with each step I take past the standing, tall grass. Sentinels. My hair seems blown back in a permanent sideways bush. It defies gravity. So can I.
I jump, leap high- like that mouse in me- that jumping mouse*- like that cricket- no like its distant cousins. I stretch my arms out, willing them to go higher, take me higher, like the eagle that the jumping mouse becomes, willing them to defy gravity. Willing them to fly.
A sharp crack fills the air, & I feel something hard and knobbly & broken & gold in my hands. I know then that you can feel gold. I turn & run.
*based on The Story of Jumping Mouse, a Native American legend, retold by John Steptoe.