Apr 20, 2007

And he shall return to his land

It was a threadbare little, foul little piece of land up on the top of the bluff. It was red soil sprinkled over chalk rock. The water was murky milky colored coming up foul from the ground and the river was an ugly stream of muddy red and weedy green.

The field was flat, moving blankly away from the river. The river stretched out, so-called in Spanish, The Arms of God. The weeds grew in splotchy patterns of Johnson grass and Crab grass and that's where it was.

That's where it was.

The Blue Bonnets bloomed blue in the clearings in the woods. But not here. Not in the open in the sun where the rain beat too hard and the sun shone too hard and copper heads lay out in the afternoon.

When the foxes passed they kept to the edges, following the lines of shade and the string of fence posts on their paths between rabbit holes, watering holes, garbage cans. The snakes came through the grass, moving fast across the pavement and back into the grass again.

The dogs kept to the roads, kept walking along the side of the cars.

In those days, from far away, you could hear automatic gun fire. You could hear Nancy Sinatra sing about walking boots made for walking. You could hear the waiting of two sides, the scratchy voices of wire taps and negotiations and the rumble of generators and the click of shuttering cameras. In those days, from far away, we saw the smoke go up over the plain piece of land.

The land was flat, unmarked by hills but hidden by Oaks and Mesquite along the fence lines. Marked by roads. Marked by rows of corn and telephone lines and by a city out on the plain.