Their silent sobbing, weeping, weeping,
The string of coins wounding.
The following is an excerpt for the novella, The Quiet People, in which the character, Moses, represents the Mockingbird. He gets to meet God while he is working:
Moses slowly and reluctantly got up starting to feel his age setting in, and began to walk to the house. A good amount of timber had already been dragged there. He just had to chop it up into logs for the fire and kindling for the stove. Can't beat Martha's cooking. He felt pretty lucky to be where he was at that time. He liked chopping wood. It keeps you warm doing it. It's like that warmth goes into the wood from your working body and that's what makes the fire hot. He chopped enough wood for a week. Chop! Blood gushes at the rhythm of a racing heart. Pow! War's great poker game. The canons are the blue chips, the guns are red, and lives are white, almost worthless. All glories to the great General. Others lose all that they own or die. Some don't even own their own lives. Why isn't that a contradiction? War is a contradiction. Diction. Dictionary filled with useless words for the dead. Dead words. Living God. Living goodness. What good is in this world of decay? Death. Dead wood running sap's tree's blood oozes thicker than blood. Must chop these limbs for the living. Blood of Christ. Life from Death. Not my life. My family. Death for the life of a country is like a bad joke. Is there any government worth life's precious blood? Blood sacrifice for the sovereign for a soldier's wages. Death. Professional killer. Dier. Kill for your food. Kill for warmth. Hot from killing, chopping. Bless this tree that I sacrifice before Thee. Tree has no choice. I love you tree. You died for me. Hee, hee, hee. Chop! Pound! Nails in Christ's cross hands.
As he chopped, Christ's face appeared in the knots with a loving painless face. "This is my body." Wine spews from the wood. "This my blood." The spray of liquid falls as as shrapnel on a wide battleground littered with corpses. Giant vultures rip their flesh while the blade of his ax discourages them from alighting on the Body of Christ which he continues hacking. Martha. Christ herself. Can't go wrong with a woman like that around. Hacking Martha for Martha's stove. "Be sure to make it into small bits." Bits of you for you to heat you and feed you, me, and our precious flower. Even the dog gets some. Christ of the tree. Christ of the Earth fills me with warm nourishment during this short life. Spirit filled by not bread alone.
On the upswing of his ax, he was pulled upward higher and higher, his feet well off the ground. His strength started it. Something else continued it. He moved faster and faster the higher he went. His ax was gone and his body became more streamlined, elongating, and snapping back at regular intervals. He could hear something like windchimes or ice crystals falling. His own will pushed him forward at the thought of his meeting his beloved creator, but suddenly his own self-doubt started to pull him back. All his faults became painfully clear to him as he moved into the perfect Light of Truth of the Effulgent One. As he pulled back, he was pulled up even faster against his will.
Soon he was face-to-face with his maker. Moses saw before him a large black woman wearing an apron with a scarf tied around her head. Tears of joy streamed down her round face as she looked at her little boy come home lookin' so all-grown-up. Oh, how he has suffered in that terrible world. Those wars and these men killin' each other and stealin'. If this boy's done anything wrong, why, he couldn't help it and it wasn't all his fault, and now he's come back to see me so nice and clean, and I know he loves me. I can see it in his eyes and, of course, I'm sittin' in his heart right now, and he's listening to me now.
You know that Martha and Rachel's been up here to see me, but, boy, you are the best flyer of the bunch and I'm so lucky you come here and visit me like you do. You're a good boy who loves your Lord. Can't beat that! No use worrying about anything you done. That's all over. Every time you see me I gives you a fresh start. Why you're just a new born babe with that big gray beard and I loves ya. Oh, I loves ya just like you was myself. Look here. I'm gonna make myself real big here, see, and put you right here on my knee and give you a big hug just like your mama used to do you 'cause you've been so good and workin' so hard. Mm-mm! There, now, doesn't that take away all the hurt and make you feel so much better? Lawd, look at the wood you've chopped! You'd better hold off a little now and put your mind on some other things that gotta get done on that farm. Your family are depending on you. But you know you can come up and see me anytime. Why, I ain't got nothin' to do here 'til you pay your visit, so don't stay away too long. You're such a good flyer. You're my good boy. You're my good, good boy. You're my good . . .
Her voice faded out as he started noticing how much he had chopped. The chopped wood was all he had to tell him how long he had been working. He set down his ax and started for the barn by the house, reflecting some on what was said to him. What mostly stayed with him was that round beaming face with those tears streaming down it. That image warmed him more than the sun did while he did his chores that day.