The childhood home and neighborhood keep returning

THE BELLE-ETTE AND HER HUSBAND are hosting a party at the old Cape across the street. The lovely A twins are seducing me, or seduced. I never could tell them apart.

We go to an upstairs bed, entwine in evening rain.

Out the window we view an incredible forest that had always been hidden by the houses on our street. (Oakdale and Ashland are, after all, forest names.)

A good-sized stream runs in a valley, and a waterfall back there, though this is a big-city neighborhood.

The nearest house, out beyond that (the dairy, in reality, where those falls would be – has in reality been sold and is out of business). The woods, dense as Jay Lower’s, whose land probably triggered this.

The idea of a forest in that yard now amazes.

There were only the two ash trees in front, and the towering cottonwood behind.

All roped in by a slew of utility wires.


A MAILBOX, LIKE MY CHILDHOOD home’s. I see a big brown envelope to me (yellow slip attached), even though the mailman hasn’t made today’s rounds yet. (What was his name, Mister …)

There’s a pink envelope waiting at the bungalow across the street. Above and behind the milk box, I find a whole bunch of mail to me.


CAMPING IN THE BACKYARD – no tent – when the phone rings, very muffled, as if within a potholder – when I find it and answer, there’s a warning of a coming storm. At last, in the northeast sky, I see it, the tornado – which turns and comes toward me, veering toward the neighbors’ garage – IT SCARES ME AWAKE, even as I realize it’s traveling backward, toward the southwest. (Contrary to science.)

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