Small Sorrows

by Deborah Brown
Brown. Walking the Dog's Shadow. Small Sorrows
You can start anywhere, you can start with the hummingbird that quivers at the feeder, or with a moon lost in the corner, or the stray dog who creeps to my window and breathes. But not with the Lebanese woman on TV who sobs as she trudges back to her house of rubble. How can I tell you my small sorrows? In Slovenia, at the Nazi prison in Begunje, you can see the last writing of two British soldiers. On the stone of a shared cell, each scraped the facts he pared himself down to: name, address, parents, schools, date of enlistment, rank, battalion, date and place taken prisoner, and the date which became the year of death. I didn't want to start there. I don't want to end there. But no matter where I start, or end, I will tell you—that if I could touch you, I would become a hummingbird, a hidden, shining center. And the dog—she would press her small, strong back into my hip.