Telling: Streams & Logs


Walking out

I walked out into the day. I walked out in sun with my hands swinging free. I saw moss in the cracks. Fat and soft and smug.

I saw leaves remembered in concrete. Bright bright shadows across the sides of houses. I saw power lines and branches sharing sky. Beer cans down the bank to a creek that trickled out of a big concrete pipe as if it were born there, and ashamed.

I saw garages with yawning mouths, a window light at the very depth of each of them. Bricks heaved up around the base of a tree. That house for sale. Another with a bright yellow Auction sign up. January 14. Past and done.

I saw no one else out walking. The sound of someone raking leaves off concrete, somewhere out of sight. But no one else walking until I arrived back home and paused to cross Main so that my crossing wouldn't bring me on a collision course with the dignified man who was walking there. My delayed crossing brought me over about 20 feet behind him, still the wake of his clean soapy smell washed over me. As I fell in behind him, he stuck his hands in his pockets and whistled just a little, as if to assure me that there was only kindness in his heart.