Birds, whose names, ones given by god and by man unknown to her, woke Rachel that morning as light grew and a breeze still cooled from yesterday’s rains came through her window and swept across her face and her leg bear from the tossed covers. She lay there a long time and rethought the dream she had, at least it seemed, just completed. It had not been interrupted, but rather seemed completed, and the birds whose names she do not know had waited until the images subsided in her mind to start their stirring chorus.
The event was a patriotic one, one attended by veterans and the program was patriotic. Rachel was on stage and to her right was a row of chairs with men she knew were ready for the program start, and on the table in front of her was a copy of the printed program and a single microphone on a stand. The big square box of a room that stretched out from the stage was filled with folding chairs filled with people. The building was like a gymnasium, but sturdier, solid, like a national guard armory. Rachel was the emcee.
Time to start the program and she looked at the sheet of paper lying on the table in front of her to remind her of the program as she called the room to attention and quiet and asked the minister to come open the event with a prayer. He was Baptist and his prayer slightly longer than necessary, but both the content and the length were not unfamiliar to her. The time he took gave her the chance to survey the room and review the program. she was in charge. She was the emcee.