Saturday, September 25, 2010
“Aren’t the trees beautiful when they begin to change colors?”
“If you think death is beautiful, well, yeah, I guess.”
“Death? Come on now, trees just lose their leaves but live on.”
“I’m losing my hair.”
“That’s not the same.”
“My hair is changing color.”
“That’s still not the same.”
“My bark wrinkles and peels.”
“Skin bark, you know, the outer layer that isn’t smooth anymore.”
“I don’t care what you say, you’re not a tree.”
“The question is, am I growing more beautiful?”
“You’re becoming more obtuse.”
“Yeah, dense will do.”
“Okay, like I said, a forest.”
Friday, September 17, 2010
Back to School?
The bus, outfitted as a camper,
pulls into the site opposite mine.
It’s an old bus, out of service
forty years, maybe more,
but children still pour
from its swinging door
when the engine stops.
It’s the school of pine needles
and sumac, wild raspberries
and milkweed pods.
There’ll be rocks tossed
into the creek before lunch,
bushes thrashed with sticks
before naptime, and chasing each other
in circles at dusk.
After the sun disappears
marshmallows will catch fire
to light up the night sky.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The Light In the Closet
“Hello?” I asked of the air.
A light had come on as I opened the door, reaching for a shirt, which wouldn’t have been unusual if I owned a lighted closet. I always wished I had one, and now, apparently, I did.
I peeked into the deepest corner to see if someone was standing with a flashlight, but the closet was uninhabited. I glanced toward the ceiling, looking for a fixture. The light was so bright I couldn’t see behind it.
Dog-paddling through layers of clothing I’d hung along the wooden pole, I touched sleeves, collars, buttons, belt loops, and empty pockets. Clearing a space, I reached the back wall.
Nothing but light.
I stood in my boxer shorts, scratching my head. Then I remembered the yellow shirt and brown slacks I’d intended to wear, lifted them from their hangers, and shut the closet. The light disappeared.
From under the door a puddle of darkness seeped out while I dressed. It formed a pool around my toes. I should have stayed to see what would happen next, but my shoe boats were moored beside a chair and in them I floated away.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
“So the television signal comes from that hill to the southeast, and that’s
where I should point the antenna?”
“That’s right, you’ll get the best signal from there.”
“Should I have my television at that end of the house?”
“No, not necessarily, if you orient the antenna correctly.”
“Should the rabbit ears be droopy or straight up, like it just saw a weasel?”
“What rabbit ears?”
“The rabbit ears on my roof.”
“I thought you had an antenna.”
“I do now that I put the rabbit on the roof.”
“And you’re on the roof?”
“Right. With my rabbit.”
“Did you remove the rabbit ears from the television?”
“I have the television up here too.”
“I hate to tell you this, but rabbit ears are supposed to be used indoors.”
“I wish you’d have said something before I got my recliner up the ladder.”
“You have a recliner on the roof?”
“Yes, and my television, and my rabbit ears, along with my rabbit.”
“Do you have an electrical outlet up there?”
“Well I’m not stupid, I brought an extension cord.”
“Then plug it in and tell me if you have a picture.”
“Oh yeah, now there’s a real good one.”
“Do you think you can stay in that position until the end of the game?”
“Oh for sure, but I don’t know about the rabbit.”