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Garbage Man

Llano Quemado scene

His kingdom for a can

They’d found a house, he dreamt. It was on a hillside. “I like it,” she said, stepping down onto the gravel drive that curved off from a wider one that led straight back into the woods. Pine woods, with space between the trees, and at the end a larger house where strangers lived. He had [...]

Homage

Homage post image

Some men are like that, though. The ones who “prune” a tree by cutting all the branches like they’re dealing with asparagus and not a being with inherent grace, a form, a destiny. I don’t know how we get that way. It’s just not possible for me. Every weed and flower has a soul. When we lived in Maryland, I’d walk past a field of barley waving in the wind and feel the power like the tramp-tramp-tramp of marching armies. And a tree, my God. You have to ask permission of a thing like that. It wants to live, it has a purpose. Just ask the birds, if you can find one.

New Mexico sky

Any day now, we will move. I don’t know where. But when the cat died, something changed. “I feel a little movement,” said my wife, as if there’d been a shift. Part of this was getting through the ordeal, the fact we’d faced it. I felt lighter, open to the breeze. The other thing was [...]

Gallup

truck in Gallup

We buried her uncle in Phoenix, as the saying goes. A memorial service for Roger, the favorite, cremated and sealed in a vault. There were palm trees and Canada geese and cousins galore, an avalanche of emotion for the love of my life. On the way home we learned that another uncle had died, this [...]

Adobe Hell with Honey

window scene

Free from the chains of the skyway?

Sometimes I think I invented this life so I could write about it. Once I had the thought that everything that ever happened to me was “like holy fire raining down,” and all I ever had to do was tell the world. That was in the bathtub on the second floor on Still Pond Road [...]

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