Enough of osseous and chickadee and sunflower and snowshoes, maple and seeds, samara and shoot, enough chiaroscuro, enough of thus and prophecy and the stoic farmer and faith and our father and tis of thee, enough of bosom and bud, skin and god not forgetting and star bodies and frozen birds, enough of the will to go on and not go on or how a certain light does a certain thing, enough of the kneeling and the rising and the looking inward and the looking up, enough of the gun, the drama, and the acquaintance’s suicide, the long-lost letter on the dresser, enough of the longing and the ego and the obliteration of ego, enough of the mother and the child and the father and the child and enough of the pointing to the world, weary and desperate, enough of the brutal and the border, enough of can you see me, can you hear me, enough I am human, enough I am alone and I am desperate, enough of the animal saving me, enough of the high water, enough sorrow, enough of the air and its ease, I am asking you to touch me.
Ma’s in the wind-pummeled double-wide waiting for the retired policemen to bring their retired police horses to the ranch. She’s at the window now describing the rain, the two-horse trailer, and also, how sometimes she and my stepdad talk about death for a long time. How imagining death can make it easier to live and I agree and say, It’s called die before you die. What is being delivered here is a horse who’s had a hard life. A large quarter horse named Seattle -- a horse with a city name who protected a city, who was spooked outside the baseball stadium when a shopping bag wrapped around his leg, a plastic thing versus a muscle-bound animal in a busy crowd and a flash accident killed a man. But then, I wonder, what for the horse? Never to be ridden, stuck numb in a stall, lightning bugs torturing the poor blood? I bet that horse might have wanted to die before he died. But not yet. What is being delivered here is release. Today, his officer-rider is finally retired, too, with an old badge on the dashboard and a fine plan to drive all the way to Montana, where the rider has bought a ranch for his horse, Seattle. The rider, and his horse, with his city-name, and his forgiven city-mistakes, are charting a clear new territory of absolution, and it makes Ma and me happy. How good it is to love live things, even when what they’ve done is terrible, how much we each want to be the pure exonerated creature, to be turned loose into our own wide open without a single harness of sin to stop us.
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees that really gets to me. When all the shock of white and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath, the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin growing over whatever winter did to us, a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then, I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.