Covering the sleeping child with a mysterious power, the beautiful white goose spreads a lyrical mass of soft feathers expressing celestial protection from his outstretched wings. A small, six-year-old girl, Kaitlynn was running from the chilling danger of violence at home, and was seeking refuge in the deserted marsh area near a quiet lake. The exhausted young child had fallen asleep on a blanket of long, damp grass, and was resting without fear in a secret corner of nature’s mystical womb.
When Kaitlynn wakes, her vision is obstructed by a dense white cloud near her face, a white feathered opacity from which she cannot escape. Resisting the urge to panic, she realizes she is covered by a very large white bird, and intuitively senses that the goose is shielding her from danger with his broad, feathered expanse. The bird’s snowy white feathers, both crisp and soft, fill her senses with a cool, freshly scented breath, an intoxicating and inimitable wild fragrance unique weed pipes. Her unexpected protection by the white goose gives Kaitlynn a heightened awareness of her tangible place of comfort within nature. She realizes that she will never be truly alone, even if her parents abandon her more than one hundred times. As the young child quietly rests under the mysterious goose in peaceful innocence, she is armed with a new understanding of a compassionate world. She sleepily releases the day’s tension from her clenched hands, and at once embraces an intimate connection to the brilliant, starry universe. The bond is powerful and will never weaken.
Standing under a crudely roofed, open shed, young Kaitlynn wears a smocked yellow cotton dress that falls a few inches over her knees. Her father is smoking Top tobacco, and he rolls cigarettes while crouching gracefully next to her on his haunches. Sharply hitting the ground three times with the palm of his hand, he orders her to come to him. Kaitlynn immediately decides she will hit him if he hurts her, even though her father only grins when she does. She notices that his usually baggy slacks are different that day, his black hair is combed neatly in place, and the scent of his aftershave permeates the air outside. Although he cruelly ridicules her nearly every day, he is her handsome father and the only man she knows. She misses him when he leaves, and is too young to understand that he is a man she can love only with a certain risk of danger.
Late at night, the older girl stands quietly in the family’s unattractive living room, listening to the loud static of the old television with no picture. Asleep in a green overstuffed chair, her father is snoring with his head dropped down onto his broad, unyielding chest. Sitting down in front of him on a small braided rug on the floor, Kaitlynn silently watches him for hours with the loving eyes of a child. The serene expression on her father’s face as he sleeps erases his usual angry countenance, and she wonders once more if he might be a gentle person on the inside, where it matters. Because he is her father and almost a part of her, Kaitlynn hopes that he might really be a good man. She smiles quietly with a feeling of trust.
Kaitlynn has a longstanding desire for her father to rescue her, a fantasy she can feel tangibly every day as her most private, secret wish. Even in her poignant dreams at night, her father doesn’t rescue her with his strong arms outstretched. Although she waits expectantly for the Masked Man by the dark open window, her father doesn’t arrive while wearing a dashing, black cape – as she had seen the handsome Lone Ranger do many times on television. Never once asking Kaitlynn what is wrong when she is unhappy, he does not carry a father’s salvation inside his surly bearing and rough demeanor.
Always, every day, every morning, every single waking minute / Kaitlynn smiles sweetly at her father. In the morning she stands and she waits, but only after she has brushed her hair neatly for school and brushed her teeth, as well. He never sees her while she is waiting in the kitchen, with a measure of hope concealed tightly in the palm of her hand – like granulated sugar – and inside the pocket of her school dress, for extra. She is completely, utterly abandoned by him, even though while standing by the family station wagon outside – she sees her father in the blinding morning sunlight, as he leaves quickly for work. His green eyes, so like her own, never see Kaitlynn waiting patiently with her school books tucked under her arms. Every day, Kaitlynn’s father gets in the car and drives away without noticing the beautiful, sweet smile of his tender daughter, a smile that was just for him and no one else – a smile that vanished and did not ever come back.