Miranda is a Latin word meaning "to be wondered at"
Miranda looked in the mirror and regarded her face. Low forehead, eyes close together, a stubborn unibrow and, most notably a crooked nose. When God was handing out good looks he must have run out when he got to her, or more likely she had been standing behind the door and he missed her entirely. Her life was like that, an endless stream of missed opportunity. Except for her job packing groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly, where she was recognized as a hard worker, diligent and efficient, she talked to no one and no one talked to her, making her the ideal worker. At quitting time, she clocked out and walked home. She didn’t say goodbye to anyone and no one said goodbye to her.
Miranda clung to the hem of life, making no waves, receiving no notice, no invitations, and no unexpected visits from neighbors. Evenings were quiet at her home.
Most nights she ate whatever she had left over, cleaned up her dishes then went to bed. She did not retire with a good book, she did not dream, she totally lacked any imagination. Her life, such as it was, was without expectation. And then it happened. As she lay tightly tucked into her bed, quite resembling a letter stuffed into an envelope, untouchable with no promise of ever being opened, she heard an almost imperceptible movement in the corner, like the soft pages of a book someone was absentmindedly flipping. Because she had no imagination she was not startled but reached for the light.
If dull and lifeless had form and shape it would be the small disheveled, slightly damaged bird she saw there. She carefully slipped from her envelope and approached. One wing askew, one foot missing a toe, it hovered there staring at her with eyes clouded like November skies. She knew that look: trying to be invisible, to shoulder the pain of needing help but unable to ask. Carefully she cupped the bird in her hands and carried it to her bed, arranging the pillow just so for the bid to rest.
There they slept.
Miranda dreamed she was flying that night. Unusual for her as she never could have imagined such a glorious, free feeling. Her hair billowing behind her, she was laughing and crying at the same time; tears flowing endlessly. Below her fields and streams, prairies and majestic mountains, oceans and rivers spread far and wide.
She awoke from her dream and looked about her. The bird had gone. Miranda looked to her open window. Lost.
Even a broken winged bird could fly.
She allowed that it could not be that difficult to recreate the euphoria she had felt in her dream, so she lifted her feet off the floor and drifted out of the window to follow where the bird had gone.