Friday, May 21, 2021

Eight Years Outside the Monastery

Afternoon passes going over the week's writing, watching some birds - grackles I guess - fly in and out of the decrepit apple tree I refuse to let anybody cut down. Bees drowse in the barn where the light is thicker. Clouds follow the valley where I listen for the river in the sound of passing wind. Was I saying something or were you?

Apple blossom petals fall through the air, swallows dive and tuck. Remember learning cursive? It's mostly cumulus but near the church steeple there's one that's gray and blurred, like a dream in the morning right after waking. Baby maple trees, sunlight in ferns, crickets in tall grass, that kind of thing.

Sunday is for thinking clearly about possession - the various kinds, the way they sync up with fallacy, and just generally how unhappy one becomes on their account. Salmon with honey mustard, brown rice, salad and lemonade. Jasper comes by around nine with a six pack and we drink it on the back porch, talking about our fathers and wives, and the way things were once, and we realize when the beer's gone that we're in the past now too, like ghosts haunting ourselves. They aren't my violets, is what I keep trying to remember.

Danny, the male mallard who is now sixteen years old, offers up guttural quacks, and I offer up a prayer that he'll die this year before the ground freezes, so I can bury him down near Alice, the Indian Runner who died in her sleep, as dear to us as a horse (instead of throw him in the forest for winter foxes to eat). Perhaps in my next life I'll be a lilac bush, or maybe somebody's side yard, a nice place to sit and read and maybe write poems. Lunch three days ago was hot dogs with sauerkraut, minced onion and pepper relish all wrapped in bacon. Be still my beating heart - I always wanted to say that.

Imagine waiting eight years outside the monastery for the head monk to acknowledge you, grant you an audience, let you in. In Vermont, snow on the apples still clinging to cold trees. We bring tea and what tea needs with us to the lake, sit on the causeway and drink and talk, while old ladies from Holyoke fish for trout nearby. Belatedly, I mean, but not in a way that means never.

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