|Two weeks into the newest year|
September is near…
my Van Gogh calendar
announces its approach
in this, the airless heat of August
my mind drifts back
to a different and long ago September
with my dad in that September
dove hunting in a dazzling New Mexico
sun- drenched dusk
four kids piled in the rear of the station wagon
my Dad, tall, in beige hunter clothes
pregnant mom beside him in the front.
We’re stopped on the side of a narrow dusty road…
this must be dove country; it looks like a cornfield to me…
in the silence of a solitary moment
when all four children stop nudging, wriggling, whining
in that silence a clear, yet plaintive sound…
a howling dog…
it catches everyone’s ear as it eerily continues
to beckon someone-
dad is the one who answers that call.
while we quiz mom about where he is headed…
disappearing into the cornfield and beyond,
it seems but moments he returns and
reaches into the glove-box for his pistol,
only to leave once more.
back he heads
towards the now still louder howls…
back to an abandoned dog, chained to a tree
in the last fevered hours of starvation…
one shot…then silence…
slowly dad returns…
a tear sliding down his ruddy freckled cheek…
no man ever loved a dog as much
as dad loved that dog
in that moment…
There is something so compelling
about taking a less travelled path
while still hearing the beat
the rumpa pum pum
of those different drums
the ones I can’t resist.
how you never get lost
on that trail…
because it’s only a journey…
eternity is the destination.
My entire life has been about taking
that other road.
I could never make up my mind what I
wanted to be
if ever I grew up.
Six decades on and
I seem to be still working on that…
but there’s time
possibility is limited only
July 4, 2011
When I first moved into this house
I was married to his brother
after his feet of clay
revealed the “one true” part of our true love to be
No matter; this really was my
one true love-we just needed a break
from the suffocation we both felt.
His brother and I married
against all odds and many suggestions that
it might be the wrong solution to the problems.
I drift…his brother, my new husband and I
bought a house and the first summer
our neighbor went to South Carolina for a visit
and I asked him to bring me back a Magnolia Tree.
Good soul that he was, on the plane back
in his possession
2 Magnolia Trees.
My one true love, who I will now only refer to
as Romeo, came to help us plant the tree.
The “tree” was little more than a stick.
Romeo began to prepare the planting site by digging
an appropriate hole. After several days the hole was hug
and neighbors and even strangersstopped by to survey what he was digging.
The hole looked like a passageway to China…
In to the whole went the teeny stick Magnolia tree.
After several years, it grew tall enough for our twin granddaughters to pose with it when
it was about 5 feet tall.
After about 8 years in it was 8 feet tall but nary a bloom
On the advice of a sage gardener
I sneaked out at night and wacked the stem with a piece of hose
under cover of night so no one could see and report me
for tree abuse or insanity.
At about 12 years of age, I discovered a spent flower pod while raking up the leaves
not ever seeing or smelling the bloom.
The following year I watched
and was rewarded by four or five flowers.
The tree is now about 20 years old; in May it started to bloom
and we must have had 20 blooms.
There were blooms we could not reach and they were left on the tree
to cast intoxicating fragrance
around the yard.
Yesterday I came home and went out back to
survey the Queendom. On the very top of the tree
I saw a flash of red. I spotted several more
one of which, Romeo, now back with me
after a very long time away; tried to bend down the branch
to give us a better look.
The spent pods, left on the tree had swollen very large
and were now bursting open to reveal bright red seeds.
I would love to plant the seeds
and make trees for the twins,
now grown women with their own children.
They are no longer really interested in the garden or the trees.
The trees cycle
and mine have evolved.