The sky grows dark. Thunder heralds the approaching storm. The lamplight flickers. A passing dove stops to rest on the icon’s shoulder.
“Tell me, friend.” The great lady creaks in the wind. “What’s the news from the outside world?”
The symbol of peace pushes off from the knotted fold in the grand dame’s tarnished tunic and fights the gathering gale so that he may perch on her ear. “Given the turn in the weather, it has been suggested that a cloak be stitched for you.”
“Now? But I’ve withstood greater storms than this for nearly thirteen decades. That’s not to say that a wrap would certainly keep my shoulders warm. And what of my standing invitation?
A cloak of such great length will surely cover up all that I stand for.”
The bird nodded. “Indeed, it will.”
“No. Someone will come to my aid. I am sure of it. Someone shall remind them of the open arms afforded their ancestors when they first arrived in this land; the freedoms they enjoyed; the plenty that was shared in times of need -”
“I’m not so sure.” The bird’s wings fluttered. It was all he could do to stay balanced.
“Keep the faith, my friend. If a spark can be fanned and burst into flame, the gentle reminder of a forgotten history can surely fling the locked doors of compassion and understanding wide open.”
The bird hopped into Lady Liberty’s ear canal to avoid being swept away. “And, if not?”
“Then all I have ever stood for is a lie.”