There's cool air. Almost cold.
And a pile of twigs from the cottonwood tree out front.
There's green grass. I'm sitting on it.
I've got matches.
I'm striking the matches, one by one, and then holding
the flames to selected twigs.
The air is dry and smells of winter and past days.
The juniper shrub next to me glazes the mix.
Its discarded needles are light brown and prickly sharp.
I scratch together a heap of them and set them aflame.
They spark as they catch.
The scent is rich and pleasant.
When the flame dies, I stand and wander out of the yard.
I troop along the ditch next to the county road.
The cold is deepening.
A shadow of geese cackle overhead.
Dead weeds crunch under my feet.
Twilight is graying to purple.
In the distance, the starry lights of town twinkle to life.
The peaks beyond exhale.
I'm alive. I don't quite know what that means—
I'm so young still—
but I'm very slowly getting a sense of it,
like one does as one wanders from the shallow end of the pond
into deeper waters.
From For It All
Featured: Tell Me Why, by yours truly