Walk

The houses where I walk are built up on a hill that starts out steep, so that, as I head down the sidewalk, the front lawns perch at shoulder height.  Roots of young trees tentatively grasp the soil; while ancient oaks plunge thick arms deep into the earth, tree and soil inextricably linked.

As I walk towards the railroad tracks, the hill grows less steep.  Hip-level, there’s a bed made of old railroad ties.  Phlox, purple and pink, cascade over the tie, spilling towards the sidewalk like bright frosting dripping down the side of a cake that you swipe up with the back of your index finger when the kids aren’t watching and scoop into your mouth because everybody knows that frosting served without cake doesn’t count.  Tucked among the rocks are small patches of white phlox and pachysandra, delicate purple flowers among shiny waxen leaves.

People seem to like chimes here.  Every house has at least one set.  When the wind sweeps up, the first chime starts up the call, which is spread from house to house like birdsong. 

There’s a rusted square of metal on the sidewalk and I glance at it, wondering where it belongs; what it came from.
I reach the tracks and the land flattens.  The gates go down and the lights flash and the whistle blows. 

The train whooshes past.
A carful of boys waits at a stoplight.  A dog pokes his nose out the window.  “Hey,” the driver shouts to three girls on the sidewalk.  He asks for directions.

The girls giggle at one another and smile their knowing smiles.  They tell the boy to turn right, you can see it from here.  They toss their hair and continue walking, pausing now and again to turn back and smile at the boys in the car. 
For a moment I feel old and irrelevant in my baggy jeans and my short hair.

The traffic light turns and I cross the street and the driver doesn’t make the right turn, but instead heads straight laughing and drumming his fingers upon the steering wheel.
The birds trill and hop.  A squirrel grasps the trunk of a tree and begins climbing.  Ahead, a retired couple walks, hand in hand. 

And I turn and head back up the hill to where houses stand upon my shoulders and I don’t feel the weight of them.




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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Walk

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Walk

The houses where I walk are built up on a hill that starts out steep, so that, as I head down the sidewalk, the front lawns perch at shoulder height.  Roots of young trees tentatively grasp the soil; while ancient oaks plunge thick arms deep into the earth, tree and soil inextricably linked.

As I walk towards the railroad tracks, the hill grows less steep.  Hip-level, there’s a bed made of old railroad ties.  Phlox, purple and pink, cascade over the tie, spilling towards the sidewalk like bright frosting dripping down the side of a cake that you swipe up with the back of your index finger when the kids aren’t watching and scoop into your mouth because everybody knows that frosting served without cake doesn’t count.  Tucked among the rocks are small patches of white phlox and pachysandra, delicate purple flowers among shiny waxen leaves.

People seem to like chimes here.  Every house has at least one set.  When the wind sweeps up, the first chime starts up the call, which is spread from house to house like birdsong. 

There’s a rusted square of metal on the sidewalk and I glance at it, wondering where it belongs; what it came from.
I reach the tracks and the land flattens.  The gates go down and the lights flash and the whistle blows. 

The train whooshes past.
A carful of boys waits at a stoplight.  A dog pokes his nose out the window.  “Hey,” the driver shouts to three girls on the sidewalk.  He asks for directions.

The girls giggle at one another and smile their knowing smiles.  They tell the boy to turn right, you can see it from here.  They toss their hair and continue walking, pausing now and again to turn back and smile at the boys in the car. 
For a moment I feel old and irrelevant in my baggy jeans and my short hair.

The traffic light turns and I cross the street and the driver doesn’t make the right turn, but instead heads straight laughing and drumming his fingers upon the steering wheel.
The birds trill and hop.  A squirrel grasps the trunk of a tree and begins climbing.  Ahead, a retired couple walks, hand in hand. 

And I turn and head back up the hill to where houses stand upon my shoulders and I don’t feel the weight of them.




Labels: ,

1 Comments:

At April 6, 2012 at 4:17 PM , Anonymous jaum said...

Love the narrative, the observations... and most of all the lesson in the last line.. Your trademark kicker.

 

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