At first she thought someone had released a flock of birds
into the room. The museum gallery whispered with the sound of wings
and flight and she thought of the starlings wheeling through the
flat Oklahoma sky, a solid flag of them waving in the currents of a
wind. Was that seventy years ago? More?...
A child's cry broke through. Mary, always keen to a child's
distress, turned towards the sound. And there, across the room,
hung the familiar charcoal gray shapes of the image that shadowed
The gallery had grown quieter and, for a moment, Mary was
alone with the picture. She saw her reflection in the glass.
There they were. Two women named Mary Coin. If they met on the
street in the high heat of a summer's afternoon, they would be
polite in the old fashioned way to show they meant one another no
harm. "Hello," they would say in passing. "My, but isn't it a