That we are slow, unwitting, confused. Prone to mistakes, predictable. That we are flightless, but a little lower in the great chain of being than they are. How simple it all seems to them, our lives: Born, walk awhile, lie down, die. What could they know of us? Not all of us cross a rickety bridge as children. Some will go out for bread and not return home. Perhaps they think of us as younger siblings born as a late, last surprise, another generation between, yet familial duties remain — and they pity our constant stumbling. When we went to the movies, they would gather in the parking lot, comparing notes, sharing a smoke. You could almost see them in the slight distortion around the lights. They are messengers bearing announcements. They stoop a little when they approach us. "Don't be afraid," they often say. They don't linger. Like older siblings they have to be somewhere else, holding back the Furies, pouring out plagues, circling the throne.