The rusty gauge on my propane tank
couldn’t muster even a small gust of
warm air. Winter, dense as the valley
fog, rolled in and walled us off on that
crooked country lane. The helicopters
were hovering again. Another desperate
attempt to save the oranges from the frost.
The hem of his favourite flannel shirt brushed
soft across the top of my bare, impatient legs.
Just wait here. I watched wide-eyed while
he muscled that mattress down the hall
and let it fall hard in front of the hearth.
California oak crackled and spit amber
sparks as shadows cartwheeled across the
ceiling and through the dust of his overdue
English assignment. Two days vanished
under the cover of that well-thumbed novel.
In between, we read, his Bonfire Vanities.
We lost the crops that year and in the end,
we had to rip out all the pages that we turned
and burn the words—just to stay warm.
cs moon 2014