by: d. heidel

I have returned.  It hasn’t been too long, but it is good to have returned.  The sun is hot today, but the trees are restless with arguments from the west.  I know this is a good place to stand and feel the heat and the air and listen to the few words that wander out through the screened windows, listen to the words that get lost here with me in the grass and the rustling green.  The ants crawl here and there and, occasionally, cross my feet.  A bird lands on the branch above my head, turns this way and that and then, realizing that I am near, leaves.  I have come back.  We all get lost sometimes.  Sometimes for a while, sometimes forever.  (They found a body last night beneath the 27th Street viaduct.  Smiling or sneering in death, his eyes sunken already from the effects of decomposition, his cheeks forever whiskered.  He is lost forever.  No one knows his name.  And his photo will stay for the next 20 or 50 years on the Milwaukee coroner’s website until, tired of waiting for his next-of-kin, the coroner will retire the search.  Tired of waiting, it will be retired.  Tired.  Retired.)  I stand here in the grass.  I’ve come back.  I wait here, listening to the words here and there that flutter out through the screened windows, the kind thoughts, the soft and then boisterous laughter, tongues and lips and things that once were and will be no longer.  I wait here, listening to the words that themselves will land in the branches and grass around me and stir the green with the wind.  It’s a beautiful day.  I have come back to stand a while here in the heat of the morning.  The wind moves again through the trees, through my whiskers; the ants move over my feet as if nothing new has happened, as if my presence were only temporary.