| He sits in the window and tells his mother every time he sees the planes.
Whenever they fly near the cottage he will run to the kitchen table and
crawl underneath the table. His mother has tried to reassure him with
reassuring phrases like "pinpoint accuracy." Except he has taken this
to mean that they are bombing pins, and he has taken all the pins from
the house and taken them into the woods. And when he sits too long in
the window and stands up his legs will tingle because he has pins-and-needles
and he will run around the house until the sensation subsides.
Meanwhile his mother is collecting food for the journey, and sorting
out certain important papers and family heirlooms for the journey. The
future is terrible and uncertain and she is finishing the wine and trying
not to break down as she prepares for the journey. The train has been
bombed, they will not travel by train, there are only a few bridges
and they are guarded by soldiers.
She neither expects nor wants the child to understand. It is ununderstandable.
The bombs are so loud and bright and powerful and frightening to him,
even when miles away. He crouches beneath the table squeezing his head
between his knees to protect his new ears.
Now she is out back laying the last of the flowers on her husband's
grave. And there are planes approaching. The child shouts for her and
disappears to go underneath the table where he thinks the bombs with
their pinpoint accuracy cannot see him.
And she is straightening up, as the planes approach, and she is looking
at these strange flying insects piloted by men who want to ease the
suffering of her people, and she wonders if they will kill her this
time. And, given everything, she would rather that she and her child
die here quickly in fire dropped by men she does not see.