In the backyard is a birdbath, given up, it would seem, to antiquity. There are fissures and cracks running its length, and the pool itself holds twigs and dirt, but no water. Its surroundings show signs of cultivation — peonies and ferns hang lazily in the sun — yet the bath itself has remained untouched.
Eva and Martin are the house’s original residents. They sit in their kitchen eating lemon pound cake and drinking instant coffee. Their kids moved from them long ago and have children of their own. Their eldest grandson is getting married this fall.
The old man stands and looks into his backyard. The birdbath has been there for so long that at first it blends in with the backdrop of greenery and earth. When he does see it he wonders why it is still there. Why has no one taken the time to fix or remove it?
His thoughts drift, so he takes a mental note to work on that this weekend, then pulls open a drawer and removes a pack of cigarettes. He cracks open a window then lights up, blowing the smoke out into the morning air.