Showing posts from August, 2020

Morning Walks Past an Empty House

For at least a year, I've watched the empty house, as slowly, slowly, its long-neglected yard endured pruning. I'd grown used to bending beneath the overgrowth that protruded over the path I walked. On  weekends or on weeks off, someone worked. Tangled branches were lopped off, then bound like prisoners against escape, and laid on the curbside for pick-up. I imagined equal time given to the inside rooms, an emptying of signs of a parent's lifetime, treasures uncovered amid messy piles of paper and cluttered drawers. There is no rushing such things. I met the daughter once, as she worked in the yard for a week, I think her name was Pat, or Pam, maybe. I never saw her again, but I've admired her tireless and relentless commitment, judging by the progress steadily made.  An electric light shining inside the house gives an occasional sign of her presence. Sometimes a lone light burning forgotten in the garage keeps sentinel watch. One morning, though, as I pass th

Morning Walk

My feet carry me, striding out at first, strong, swift and purposeful on my early morning walk. But I am a distracted walker. I notice so many things within minutes that I slow to look closer, then to squat and gaze and wonder: at the glow of lamps on a porch; the lines of leaded window-panes; even the indefinable “sense” of a household asleep behind closed blinds. Light dances with shadow on a sloping bank of wild grasses and flowers. Already I am both captivated and trying to capture what I see if I can. I pass a wooden porch attached to an old home, and the morning light catches its peeling rafters. How many people have sat beneath them, I wonder? Who were they? I imagine visiting friends, sharing confidences and laughter, children on their haunches, lips slack, absorbed in their imaginary world of play. This morning a wiry woman hunches over, legs crossed, elbows on knees, looking deep in thought, smoking what I guess is her first cigarette of the day. The smoke wafts its way into