Sunday, August 23, 2009

In the corner of a yard I didn’t recognize, my father was raking leaves by a wooden fence. The leaves were old and rotten and piled deep. There was a small tree trunk nearby that I thought should be removed. I told my son it would be easy to dig out. But when we walked around it, the other side was massive. I said, “What happened? This tree looks like it’s 300 years old.” Two words, then, died on my lips: “petrified” and “sycamore.” My father, meanwhile, had found another area under some bushes that needed raking. I could tell by his movements that he was angry about something. He quickly finished the area and went to the front yard. We followed him. The sun was up in the backyard, but in the front it was still mostly dark. My father disappeared behind some bushes near the foundation. Again, he started raking. A neat row of leaves appeared on the lawn. Then, silence. My father was gone.

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