Failed Monks and Stranniks on the Way Home

Snow and other missives finding the way.

Lately, Russian stouts with a creamy espresso head. Rasputin and other failed monks have a lot to say in the way of seduction, especially when moonshadows stretch hungrily between the chinks in the bedroom window blinds. The glow grabs me, and I grab back.

The days lengthen enough to reach the dead places of winter's territorial campaign. I peel the plastic off the windows before the temperatures warm because that is what eagerness looks like. The inside pallor exchanged for the crisp hints of onion and earth.

At the greenhouse, my glasses fog over before adjusting. When I arrive in the mornings before the machines are turned on, it feels like I am on the moon. The quiet calamity of thousands of plants, growing and being.

All day I plunge pinky-sized flower plugs into pots and flats and baskets. For the first time in years, I explore the world as an escaped convict – a body freed from the atrocities of the mind. When one leaves, she does not return entirely the same.

Woodsmoke hanging over praying roofs. I remember goat stew on the compound and how it took the entire day to prepare. Everyone gathered and not even an eyeball was wasted. The dogs circled enslaved by instinct. We sang songs and our children slid down the grassy hill on scraps of cardboard. Things were simpler there. Sing. Share. Survive. Jayber Crow and I, stranniks on the way home.

I am different now. Shifted. Softer. Sullen through the absence of highland clarity.

One more beer to shoulder the load. So my dreams slur; what's the big deal? Spring will be here soon and it will no longer be a trauma to remember hard, frozen things. If I write what I'm thinking, the whole world will fall apart. For now, please accept the remnant “this” – a this I used to be.