Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • This is my cowbird story and more. It is different for me and I am not sure I have it right. But I am not sure I will get it righter. Take it personally. Take it to heart. I mean it that way.

    You sent me a picture. A plain pencil sketch suffused with anguish and loss.

    I zoomed in until I could see the individual strokes, the lines of your toes, fingers, the fall of hair obscuring your face. You are naked, exposed, vulnerable, barefoot, head bent. One hand hangs loose and the other carries an end of a length of chain. Link by link I traced its weight to the shackle round your ankle.

    I carried this thought for days. Like a smooth stone in my hand while I went about business and routine.

    These chains. Forged link by link by link.

    Crystallized from the long drift of careless comments, doubts and the looks that pass right through. Hammered hard and home from necessity, circumstance, random shitty luck.

    Love it. Very nice. Beautiful. But they’re already turning away.

    And the bell tolling across the years, “So. What are you going to art today?”

    In your drawing you are alone on an empty field. You said you don’t do landscapes and backgrounds.

    We are hidden behind easel or pen, hunched over pad or tablet or keyboard.

    How to explain the hours alone? Where to share despair slashed black across in rage? Where to show the shining moment of fit and rightness?

    Who will say I see you? Who will ask the questions that fire inspiration?

    I think now, if you look you will see others close and by. Us. And in this company the cold iron cannot long endure.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.