Friday, May 28, 2021

Twenty Miles with Her in Silence

Minnows in brown shallows, red-tail hawks in widening updrafts. How far back do we have to go to find happiness?

The mower rattles around the chicken pen, and the chickens flap out of their dust baths into the shade of the barn, and eye me warily. The ferns this year, as if we needed more proof of God's love.

Broken leg, broken arm, broken jaw, broken nose. I remember misfiring a shotgun and getting hit hard upside the head and say what you will, I never misfired a shotgun again.

Riding around town in the back of a pickup, nestled in bales of hay. At 5:30 I feed the horses and water the strawberries and rhubarb, all barefoot, and the grass is so wet and cold my feet ache.

Between grading, making potato salad. My next dentist appointment is on my Dad's birthday, and I oddly thought of canceling it, then thought, no, that's stupid.

I mean, who turns a perfectly functional breather into a stress test death match? Marigolds.

Moonlight. At dusk trout leap in the river and I hold my hands open as in prayer, letting the cosmos know I am not here to hunt or kill.

Her poems are so full of grief - a surrealism that can barely sustain itself (a reminder that sorrow disdains metaphor) - that you'd have to walk twenty miles with her in silence just to earn the right to say, hey, listen, are you okay? Last of the kale tossed in a blueberry smoothie, two cloves of garlic and a little stevia to take the edge off. 

It's summer, it will be for a little while I guess. The neighbors mention putting up a fence but don't, and when I mention it to Jasper he mentions Frost's "Mending Wall" and I swallow a dozen screams. 

Yet I like to roll and smoke a joint from time to time, especially in summer, the moon lolling in soft skies, a rivery hymnal in faroff darkness, just sitting with the crickets and peepers, and now and then an owl on the outskirts of the village. Scouring the sky for signs of rain and angels. 

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