I’ve seen him through the front window, walking. Tall, fairly young – thirty, thirty-five maybe. Neatly, casually dressed. Very straight back. He looks fit and agile, until you realize his head does not swivel on his neck. When he looks left or right, he moves slowly from the waist, his shoulders bring his head along for the turn. Chin locked. Mostly he looks forward. His footsteps are heavy – slight lift, careful placement. Each move deliberate, fully completed before the next move is made. He does not stroll. Does not swing his arms.
The one time we spoke, I was chasing a cat out of a tree away from a bird’s nest as he was passing by. He half turned, half grinned. Said, “Your yard is looking nice.”
I am glad he’s out there making his life work.
I planted it, finally…
Ran the hose and filled the spot with water to soften the soil,
break down the clay, ease the shovel into a hole big enough to accept the root ball;
broke up the bottom roots to allow for stretch and growth,
layered on some soil enhancer to feed it and shield it from the desert dryness of the front yard,
Placed it in the new hole at a distance from the gas line mark,
but not before I studied the yard for just the right spot
equidistant from the sidewalk and the property line and the curve of the front garden.
I imagined it larger, well settled in place, filling that corner with its lovely blue color,
with birds nesting in its branches, flickers calling from its top knot.
I see it decorated for Christmas with lights and ornaments and strings of popcorn.
The squirrels will think it was all done for them, and the popcorn will be gone quickly.
It’s short right now. Just above my knee, but I believe in its future, in its promised height and fullness,
an anchor to the front yard for years and years to come.
I have no idea why it took me so long to plant it. Now it looks like it has always been there.
Leaves me beat
And irritated at the chirping birds
SO GOES THE HEIGHTS’ CEMETERY
Nelle prayed the decision to move her Sisters was the right one. They lay in sacred ground, some over one hundred years, and per established custom, exhuming them was wrong.
“Please, God… a small sign that You agree with this.”
Then birds filled the trees drowning out her worries, and sunlight shown.