I woke up and the sun was already
Marking time on the stone walls
And it was quiet
Which was ok
I got up, folded my sleeping bag
And walked out to put it
Back in the truck.
I dumped it on the porch
And opened the screen door
To go back in and saw it
A square of white
Taped to the screen
“Gone to town, be back later. Borrowed your truck.”
There was coffee and a pot in the kitchen
So I measured poured and brewed.
Poured and walked back to the porch.
In daylight the valley was larger than it had looked.
An open meadow ran behind the house
for a couple hundred yards
And butted up against a limestone bluff.
Grass stopped and sheer rock wall began.
I looked up the face of the bluff
And saw it ended in tree tops
That hung over in a lean
To the open
Making it look like they were trying to jump
Or were being crowded off the edge by those behind.
My second cup refill brought the sounds
Of a truck coming down the track
So I wandered outside to see if it was Lacey.
I didn’t recognize the old red Dodge
But wouldn’t have recognized anything but my truck
In this part of the world.
And walked over my way
With a wary look in his eye
And one hand stuck behind him
Like he had hooked his fingers in his belt
“Morning: I offered.
“I”m Travis, Lacey’s gone to town.”
“I’m Davis.” He said with a frown,
“ Never heard Lacey mention any Travis.”
“Not to be rude, but how do I know you
are supposed to be here?”
“ I guess you don’t.” I answered.
“ You can hang around until Lacey gets back
and ask her I guess.”
He shook his head no “ Tell her I came by
And am still waiting for that answer.”
“Sure.” I said as he turned,
started the truck and drove off.
Later I heard my truck
Rattling down the track
And saw Lacey had groceries in the back.
She stopped the truck
Stepped out and hugged me.
“Help me unload she said.”
“Sure.” I answered
“by the way you had company.”
“Company? “ she asked
“Who was down here?”
“Guy named Davis.” I answered
balancing two bags of groceries in one arm
and a bag of potatoes in the other.
She dropped the bag she was carrying
And turned a pale shade of green
“He say anything?” she croaked.
“Just that he was waiting for that answer.”
I turned and walked on in to the house
Put the bags on the table and went back
To get the rest.
She was walking toward that bluff behind the house
The bag she dropped oozing broken eggs
On the ground and forgotten.
I cleaned it up and finished unloading,
Grabbed a couple of cold ones out of the fridge
And walked outside.
She was walking a ledge that angled up
The almost sheer bluff face so I figured
She wasn’t going to need that beer.
But I did.
Staggered piles of stonework ring the valley here
You can see the handiwork of God is very clear
Trees reach up to heavens door
While springtime rivers songs do roar
Leaving one to contemplate
Could it be finer inside heaven’s gates
It was hours before she returned
And I had put away the groceries as best I could,
Started a pot of stew
And sat there on the porch reading a book
Konrad had given me.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to leave you like that.”
“Not a problem.” I replied
“I could tell your ghost just rattled some chains”
“Want me to leave?” I asked
“No, please don’t.” she said
“ I was just reading this book,” I said
“and came across a passage you might like”
She looked at me unsure of what I was saying
So I continued and read to her:
“There was a time when I thought the world
was not only mine, but that the black and white
of day and night were the paces we live.”
I tipped her chin up with a finger
And kissed her cheek.
“We never do just live in the black and white
of things do we Lacey?”
“Let’s eat some stew, it aint much, but
you won’t starve eating it
or notice how bad it tastes
I’m guessing” I said
And reached for her hand
Leading her into the kitchen