Umbrellas shelter you from the rain
Umbrellas have metal spokes
Umbrellas open and close
Umbrellas are carried by business men in bowler hats
Mary Poppins flies with an umbrella
Eagles are birds of prey
Eagles soar high over mountains
Eagles have broad wings
Eagles are powerful and symbolise protection
Eagles shelter you from the rain
Eagles have metal spokes
Eagles open and close
Eagles are carried by businessmen in bowler hats
Mary Poppins flies with an eagle
Umbrellas are birds of prey
Umbrellas soar high over mountains
Umbrellas have broad wings
Umbrellas are powerful and symbolise protection
My Father’s Umbrella.
My father left his umbrella. I keep it in my room. It perches on the end of my bed, its bone handle a hooked beak, its black wings furled. Sometimes, I take it to bed with me and clutch it to my chest. I release the poppered catch and let the fabric flap over me, its thin spokes rigid, like ribs.
I think about my father out in the rain, hair slicked to his scalp and shivering, rain-blind, calling for his umbrella.
And I imagine myself jumping from the window, the umbrella open above me to catch the howling wind. We lift high over the streets, into the broad wet sky, and to the mountains, where we glide. One hand on the handle, the other free, so we can dive when we see him and swoop him up.
Bring him home.
Mairead Robinson writes flash fiction at her home in the South West, UK, when she isn’t being bothered by her dog, her cat, and all other things that aren’t flash fiction. Her stories can be found in Ellipsis Zine, Full House Literary and some other places. She tweets @Judasspoon and skeets @maireadwrites.bsky.social