One Sunday afternoon in March of 1976, I ran into Dave. I was in a beer store in Durham, North Carolina, standing at the cash register, pocketing the change from my purchase, when this guy stepped up to the counter beside me. He looked familiar.
“Are you Dave?” I said.
He gave me a wary look, like maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t.
“Dave from Ireland?”
His face lit up. “Yeah,” he said, “I’m Dave from Ireland. Hey!”
I look over my shoulder at the clock on the oven, 11:19 a.m. Not yet, I think. A few more minutes.
These are counting days. We count the deer we see on our morning walks, the orphan gloves dropped and lying at the edge of the sidewalk; the coyotes and vultures, one each yesterday. We count the days we’ve been sheltering in place, peruse the daily Covid-19 statistics in Michigan, in the US, and around the world. We open the fridge and count eggs.Continue reading “If This Is Shelter”→
Between our house and the house next door, running from the street to the back of the lot, this ditch conveys water to a large storm drain. Surface water drains into this ditch. Our sump water is pumped into this ditch. The water from the long ditch across the street, a major tributary, flows under the road through 12-inch pipe and into our ditch.
Six feet across, four feet deep, in a hard rain this ditch moves a lot of water. Unfortunately, along a third of its length, six tall, prolific cottonwood trees loom over it. They drop loads of crap–pods and clots of cotton spring and summer, a continuous blizzard of leaves in the fall, sticks year around–a plague of tree matter that winds up in the ditch and is dragged by the flow of water in a heavy downpour all the way back to the storm drain, which clogs, backs up, and forms a lake that can only be unclogged by hand. Of course, our backed-up ditch affects the one across the street. We’re all in this together. Continue reading “The Flood Will Come”→