Late One Summer Afternoon
It was a long walk home from a friend's, and so I stopped to rest for a few moments at a roadside stream. A little girl was there, in a crisp pretty pink dress, her large brown eyes focused on the hundreds of minnows her dad was pulling up in each lift of a metal basket.
"Hi. What's your name?" I asked. In a sweet low voice she answered "Onie." Her dad added: "I named her after my mother. She died when I was four."
"Oh, I'm sorry," I said. 'We all carry some sorrow in our lives, huh?"
"Yeah . . . I'm an ex-murderer from North California too, ya know . . ."
I looked above the man's heavily tattooed arms and chest and into his dark-tanned face. "Well," I said, "you've got a good life here now--so many minnows!"
"Yeah. I raise 'em and sell em to the bait shops along the lake. Got a cellar fulla snakes, too--for pet shops in the city."
I smiled. "Great," I said. Then, Onie and I quietly watched as her dad pulled up several more hauls. Soon after, I murmured, "Well I've gotta get going . . . bye." The man nodded, and the little girl waved me on, as far as our eyes could see . . .
circumvent a turtle
crossing the road