augury doggerel

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Everything but a burning

Last night I am in another story about a girl who walks a dog in the woods.

The woman will have a visitor, a friend they call Ruda, and I like to be alone, so I go out to the woods. It is dry and still light, so I take a book.

The best place to read when it is dry is the cemetery, just through the woods. I am the only one here this late.

In the back row, some were ninety, some thirty, some younger, but everyone died in the same year. It is as if there had been a plague, but there was no plague. It must have been the opening of a new suburb here, another Willow Acres or Hawthorne Farm for folk who have given up living in the city.

In the next section, where I sit on the steps to read, each stone has a moon and a star and a swirl of script where a stone in the next row would have a cross or the thin bare man. Some of the stones with a moon and a star are broken. I read a story about the old American woods and a pink ribbon.

When it is too late to read I go out through a steel gate at the back of the cemetery and up into the woods. It is darker here. There is one bird and it screeches. Then I forget everything but the path. And then there is the girl and the dog, just visible tonight, but them, walking up and away into the woods. I almost follow but how could I say it was chance that I'd gone the same way, and then they have disappeared in the trees, so I turn out into the air.

There is still light out here, two planets and no stars. I watch bats circle and eat over the grass. When I get home, I hear talking through the door, but inside Ruda has gone and the woman is sitting with a cat.


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