Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week in Seven Words #19

For a moment I think the cream-colored wall has shed blood. But it's a cardinal, swooping down from the roof in one liquid red glide.

It's an inarticulate day; rain is slurring down the windows.

Out on the sunny lawn they grunt and kick high, their fists held close to their chests. Every few kicks they rotate a fraction, their legs jerking up.

There it is, a suitcase by the door, a backpack beside it, both waiting for early morning.

I imagine that the sound of wasted time, of hours pouring away with little to show for their passing, is that of a rainstick - a slippery, hollow sort of sound, mildly pleasant and lulling.

It's an afternoon of squirrels. They rear up, vigilant and still, in patches of tall grass or clumps of broad green leaves. They drape themselves on the backs of benches or pick furiously at fast food and candy wrappers. One of them twitches in fright when a butterfly lands on its tail; it goes leaping across the grass, body bristling.

Tectonic tensions underlie his life. On the one hand, he is rooted in and nourished by beliefs and practices that are centuries-old; on the other, he craves the latest thrills, wants to seek the newest trend-setting city or neighborhood and insinuate himself into its rhythm and life.


John Hayes said...

These are always a weekly treat to savor--I particularly liked "blurry" & "rainstick" this time around--& the image of the squirrel startled by the butterfly is quite wonderful too.

HKatz said...


Watching the squirrel and the butterfly was great fun; the squirrel initially had all its attention on me... and didn't notice the butterfly approaching from behind.

Relyn said...

liquid red glide

you are a wordsmith, my friend

And, oh how I loved reading about the startled squirrel. I've been laughing and am grinning still.

HKatz said...

Thank you, Relyn.

And squirrels are great fun. There are a lot of them around here, and though they don't try to cozy up to people they're not deathly afraid of them either, so you can watch their antics from up close.