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Contents Page: December 31, 2010, vol 6 no 4

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Jim Fowler

 

Ojbects in the Mirror Are Farther Than They Appear

I work my way up the mountain, careful of rocks or sticks concealed beneath the thick layer of leaves. The stone walls that peek past the brush on either side reveal that this was once a road. A chipmunk chitters,unseen, warning the cellar holes that someone comes. The road levels through a swale and a deer flicks its tail and ducks over the left knoll. How old was I when I followed the fawn that followed the haywagon up this same road? I turn into the bar way and see ghosts sticking up out of the leaves: the rim of the wagon wheel that used to be mounted on the wall and held the family name, the spare pivot rod for the mower’s cutter bar. The last time I saw it, it hung inside the barn. I sit on the stoop, beside a milk can with a rusty ‘F’ embossed on its side. I pull it up out of the leaves and discover the bottom’s gone, so I slip it back into its place. My ears remember sounds; the shiver of a horse after its harness is removed, the mewling of the barn cats at milking time. I can almost smell the scent of apple pie cooling on the windowsill, taste the pure water. I stand, walk close and look into the well. The water’s near and dark. I drop a stone and ripple my reflection.

the moon, one cloud
shadows of tree limbs
dance on the car

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