Corner to Corner

It wasn't until the storm clouds broke open that I realized I had been waiting for it to rain all day. A long exhale uncoiled as water spill over the eaves. Maybe it is honesty that is missing somewhere and the deficit looks like a smile and well-wishes. The rain curates a surrender – a quiet introspection of that which is not ever said anymore.

On the corner there were two mourners sitting on a patched blanket in front of a post of sorts, decorated with flowers and posters and offerings for someone loved. They were having a small picnic while looking down at their laps, engaging the dead at the last place they were seen alive. A blessing filled all the cracks and spaces in my throat. Yet after passing, a recognition of resemblance sent prickling shockwaves from my chest outward into the tips of existence and back again: I, too, return to the place where I was last alive.

I bring the writing and the conversations and the revelations.

I spread the quilt carefully on the grass as to not damage or kill what is growing.

I cradle the memories and count the connection as real – more real than the fact that I am sitting alone at the altar of my own making.

The red-winged blackbird's trill pierces the moment as he adjusts his balance on the cattail next to the highway on-ramp. And he's on the telephone pole that leans over the train tracks on 40th avenue. And he's sitting on the railing at Mom's house on Gun Lake. And he's at the neighbor's feeder, further in from the marsh than expected. This bird of seasons – here for the warmth, south when it all freezes. Because that is how it is. It's how Michigan is. It's how the living reaps what they can from the conditions of an unpredictable climate for survival's sake.

So maybe maybe I shake the grass and dirt off the bottom of the quilt, and fold its patches onto one another – corner to corner . . .

and maybe take the flowers off the post and set them in the passenger seat

and maybe I go home to put it all away

and work in the yard a bit

and go see a movie

past my bedtime

with my family

and count it all 

as living