Illusion


It was the year they left Mantua; the year they left the bank where the teller sat in the drive-through window framed by brick—a pretty picture of small-town life and love—dispensing cellophane-wrapped lollipops and conversation with every deposit and every withdrawal.

It was the year they moved to forty acres of cornfields and woods; dreams and intentions. She remembers waking to the silver tanker pulling into the dairy farm across the street. She remembers standing at the window, staring at the holsteins dotting the field, wrapping thick muscular tongues around patches of grass.

She remembers the time the farmer drove across the state highway dividing their property. She ventured outside, picking up twigs from the driveway, feining disinterest. The farmer wore dark blue pants and a button-up shirt. His skin was tanned and leathery. Occasionally, he would remove his striped conductor's cap to reveal the whispy hair beneath. For the duration of the visit, he kept his foot on the truck's running board, as if, at any moment, he would swing into the cab and drive home.

She circled closer.

She balanced on the bumper of the farmer's truck, watching through the glass of the cab. Her father nodded at the hospital band strangling the farmer's left wrist. “I'm sorry,” he said. The words felt heavy and inevitable.

The farmer nodded and looked across the street to his cows.

Eventually, he got into his truck and started the engine. And as he put the truck in reverse and began backing out of the driveway, she leapt from the bumper to safety.

It was the year they buried the farmer, despite fervent prayers lifted to heaven.

It was the year she learned of the fragility of life.

It was the year she learned that safety can be an illusion.

But it was also the year that she understood that love—for a town, for a bank teller, for a dairy farmer across the street, for a broken-down farm and a barn in disrepair—love always remains.

This was written in response to this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.

On to the weekly challenge, in honor of the time we have spent together so far.

YEAR (noun)
1: the period of about 3651/4 solar days required for one revolution of the earth around the sun
2: a cycle in the Gregorian calendar of 365 or 366 days divided into 12 months beginning with January and ending with December
: a calendar year specified usually by a number <died in the year 1900>

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Illusion

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Illusion


It was the year they left Mantua; the year they left the bank where the teller sat in the drive-through window framed by brick—a pretty picture of small-town life and love—dispensing cellophane-wrapped lollipops and conversation with every deposit and every withdrawal.

It was the year they moved to forty acres of cornfields and woods; dreams and intentions. She remembers waking to the silver tanker pulling into the dairy farm across the street. She remembers standing at the window, staring at the holsteins dotting the field, wrapping thick muscular tongues around patches of grass.

She remembers the time the farmer drove across the state highway dividing their property. She ventured outside, picking up twigs from the driveway, feining disinterest. The farmer wore dark blue pants and a button-up shirt. His skin was tanned and leathery. Occasionally, he would remove his striped conductor's cap to reveal the whispy hair beneath. For the duration of the visit, he kept his foot on the truck's running board, as if, at any moment, he would swing into the cab and drive home.

She circled closer.

She balanced on the bumper of the farmer's truck, watching through the glass of the cab. Her father nodded at the hospital band strangling the farmer's left wrist. “I'm sorry,” he said. The words felt heavy and inevitable.

The farmer nodded and looked across the street to his cows.

Eventually, he got into his truck and started the engine. And as he put the truck in reverse and began backing out of the driveway, she leapt from the bumper to safety.

It was the year they buried the farmer, despite fervent prayers lifted to heaven.

It was the year she learned of the fragility of life.

It was the year she learned that safety can be an illusion.

But it was also the year that she understood that love—for a town, for a bank teller, for a dairy farmer across the street, for a broken-down farm and a barn in disrepair—love always remains.

This was written in response to this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.

On to the weekly challenge, in honor of the time we have spent together so far.

YEAR (noun)
1: the period of about 3651/4 solar days required for one revolution of the earth around the sun
2: a cycle in the Gregorian calendar of 365 or 366 days divided into 12 months beginning with January and ending with December

Labels: ,

15 Comments:

At November 8, 2012 at 4:39 AM , Blogger Draug said...

This is a great piece. I was really drawn into the setting and story through your great writing. (:

 
At November 8, 2012 at 3:25 PM , Anonymous Stephanie B. said...

Oh my gosh how beautiful. The nostalgia of it brings me close to tears. Maybe because I grew up in a place like this. I love the image of the cellophane wrapped lollipops, the muscular tongue of the cow around the grass, and the fervent prayers lifted to heaven. So nice..

 
At November 8, 2012 at 3:27 PM , Anonymous Leslie Collins said...

You're killing me....

 
At November 8, 2012 at 3:28 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

Beautiful but sad. I like the detail of the hospital band strangling the farmer's wrist, and how his death affected her thoughts of life, safety and love.

 
At November 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Draug has left a new comment on your post "Illusion":

This is a great piece. I was really drawn into the setting and story through your great writing. (:

 
At November 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM , Anonymous jaum said...

One of your very best

 
At November 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

That's lovely. As usual, it's the little details you include that make it so poignant. I love the first images of the countryside opening up to her.

 
At November 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM , Anonymous Kymm Coveney said...

I saw that cow grazing!

 
At November 8, 2012 at 6:32 PM , Anonymous Ruby Manchanda said...

Beautifully sad.

 
At November 8, 2012 at 6:47 PM , Anonymous Latitudes of a Day said...

This is lovely. Great writing.

 
At November 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

I hope that one day you create a collection of these farm-related pieces. I love your language here--parts of it are so foreign to me, I can't help but be interested. Nice work.

 
At November 9, 2012 at 3:04 AM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

Sigh. This is Trifecta. Your blog hates us. But we love it.

 
At November 9, 2012 at 4:58 AM , Anonymous Laurie Hoppe said...

I love the lyricism and how much narrative you managed to squeeze in without making it seem forced. Congratulations on a beautiful piece.

 
At November 9, 2012 at 4:58 AM , Anonymous Laurie Hoppe said...

PS I'm The

 
At November 9, 2012 at 5:57 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

This felt very melancholy, like a sadness was woven in between the words. As always, your descriptions are wonderful.

 

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