Linda R. Quennec: Shaughnessy Walk

Spring '13 TOC


In my front garden bed a troupe of enthusiastic snowdrops is already searching for a glimpse of spring. A pale, long-unseen sun plays the shifting sidewalk shadows: needle, leaf, and thickened trunk. Moss is everywhere, creeping through cracks and blanketing stained asphalt. The house on the corner is still draped in Christmas lights that I don't remember glowing during the season. The tree behind it was topped last spring so that above the bowing fir two thick branches reach bare and truncated toward the sky, disabled.

Down the street I pass my daughter's "wishing tree" and utter something quietly for her. Sirens and a helicopter chop the air heading toward Children's Hospital. A friend's six year-old niece waits there, a seam of stitches crossing the right side of her scalp.

At the park I climb an ancient rock staircase to the empty field taken over by dogs and their parent-like owners. There are two new construction sites along the opposite street; small bungalows leveled to accommodate monster homes with perfect feng shui. A conversation in Tagalog between two women watching the dogs play. Not the owners of these houses.

I wonder about the coyote. Somehow I know his den lies close by. A man stands surveying his home, patting his thighs in exercise. A clump of snowdrops blooms next to a pile of dog shit. I can't see through the windows of these homes— even at night.




Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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