Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Just as the Leaves Begin Turning

Midmorning thunder passes, a brief deluge soaking the hanging laundry, and then the heat comes, heavy as wet blankets. Spirits dip and rise. The swale, so to speak, was inside you all along. Pickups with cobbled-together beds roll slowly up Main Street, going nowhere. Goldenrod as yet not gold grows stiff and lovely in patches along the pasture. I should have used "cobbled-together" with heart, as in "my cobbled-together heart rolls slowly up Main Street," leaving out "going nowhere," as it's here. Jasper brings a jelly jar of homegrown by, asks me to sniff it, says I should be honest, is it skunk, but it's not, it's mostly lemon with hints of late summer fields just as the leaves begin turning or is it how your mouth tastes the first time you see a black bear on the trail. Late coffee, late sentences. It's fiction all the way down is not the answer either, nothing is the answer when you feel clever or correct saying it. Ha ha, say the ghosts, the joke's on you, you're haunting us. Nearing the end of last year's harvest - half a dozen chickens, two bags of kale, a couple pounds of rhubarb. In a dream the wasps thank me for being open-minded but urge me not to linger because their nature is to kill and they have no concept of ethics. Grackles gathering into flocks, the sky enlarging the way it did all those years ago in Vermont. Somebody gave me a book and taught me what to do with it and that was it, that was the end, my life's path set. A million crumbs to make a single loaf of bread! Wiggling my toes in sunshine, lake shallows, the brook out back. How happy I am at this table from which - at last it is clear - no body can be excluded.

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