The Heart of a Mockingbird by Sean Ennis

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I think I’ll go for a drive to release myself from the pucker of muck in this archdiocese. No one stuck at home themselves has even looked at my website. The oven, from roasting too hard, is toast. Let us see the turtles with their packed suitcases; the song birds and cats warring. My phone is too hot to work. Let’s roll.

There would be the storefronts closed pre-crisis, trendsetters. There would be the empty new playground, shining up in the rain. That worrisome pack of abandoned fighting dogs.

But my obsessions have returned during this, an ear towards the phone to please God sing. My best friend, 1200 miles away, has taken to bird watching, gone silent. We have one, the mockingbird, which will dart from a bush and attack an undergrad if it feels like it. Its speedy heart must just be an on and off switch, what depths could it possibly contain? I don’t go for a drive.

Instead, we continue to wait for a part for the oven, ordered direct from Pluto. My wife is handy and I’m perching with this one piece of advice about how to avoid getting electrocuted, bringing sand to the beach.

Last year’s garden is waiting for me but I fear snakes, need gloves. Yes, I’ve already mowed. I consider strolling the yard like a nineteenth centuryist waiting for a butterfly or brand new type of bossy clover to appear. But, a city kid really, nature has never delighted. I reconsider the car. 

There’s like this black box I keep pulling ideas out of, each more nervous and mysterious and fanged than the last. In a pile, they form a recent history. See: take a drive, warn wife, garden.

Could there be a little music in the house? Yes, plenty of that. Could dinner be cooked on the grill instead? Yes, that seems doable. Could two friends or family members copy and repost?


Sean Ennis is the author of Chase Us: Stories (Little A) and his flash fiction has recently appeared in Passages North, Hobart, Tiny Molecules, BULL Men’s Fiction, and Queen Mob’s Tea House. More of his work can be found at

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