Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Lady Go

I can’t linger over this.

This winter never ends. The sun still drops like Newton’s Apple. In the summer, it will hang just over the edge of our world and daub the treetops with copper light for a good long time. Now it just disappears like it owes you money.

The pissing down rain magically appears for the cinematic effect. We go out to the edge of the wilderness. The boles of the trees appear like columns in some broken-down temple, full of pagan gods no one prays to anymore. We brought a light, but it’s better in the near darkness. The light is like whimpering when you’re sick. It doesn’t make you feel better. Time to lie quiet.

The boy is old enough now, and brings the spade. We stand for a quiet moment at the spot, and the restless woods produce a flotte of geese to fan us with their wings when they light out. You can hear the rustle of their feathers like vestments.

The iron bar loosens the sandy clay, and after some chuffing there’s the void we need. If you’re an old hand you know they’ll be a perfect brown circle on the right knee of your pants when you’re done.

After a while, you have to hold the shovel like you would the paddle of a canoe. Your right hand is way down near the reversed blade; your left levering and twisting the handle to square and empty the hole. It’s not intuitive; the shovel is born mute, and dies that way. Once you’ve seen men whose shovel is their banjo, you get it.

You wonder if the boy who named her will watch you and learn. He is here because you know he will.

8 Responses

  1. Seriously, Greg, you need to get some of these published. Man! In the somewhat unlikely event that I ever end up an editor, I am SO going to pursue you. And if I ever get the ear of a likely editor, I am SO going to bend it. I say again, MAN!

  2. Janet- If you will declare me an artist, I assure you I’ve got the starving part down pat, so I’ll be all the way home.

  3. Well, I can’t afford your furniture, but I will rush to pre-order a book if you ever get published. Just sayin’.

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