Sunday, May 20, 2012

Merciful Dark

A truck had just pulled out from the well and I followed it up through the woods past the merciful dark of Augie’s house.  I hadn’t been farther up Barlow Hill since the year I quit 84 Lumber.  You learn the back roads driving a delivery truck.  Then you forget.  Dark and raining doesn’t help.  The road climbed steadily.  One-sided trees leaned in.  Ahead brakelights flashed and bobbed like the truck had run over something.  I slowed. Runoff had strewn stones, debris across the road.  I geared down, eased over.  When I looked up the truck was gone.  

At the top of the hill the woods ended.  Wide rolling fields fell away into night.  Ahead a tall hedgerow, buckets hung from sugar maples.  A Bobcat loader, stacks of blocky shapes defining as pallets of fieldstone wrapped in chickenwire.  Remains of a wall older than the trees, picked for three hundred dollars a ton.  The stones didn’t care.  Why should I.    

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