blocks crumbling

04 September 2015 – All the corn has Delilah fretting. The blurry green walls of it on either side. Field after field. A vast stretch. Too much the same to tell apart. She’s hunched forward in her seat. Hands clamped to the wheel. Knuckles white. Eyes trained on the road ahead.

Telephone poles glide by. The sky big and endlessly blue. Gravel grumbling beneath her wheels. Monotonous radio turned down low.

The van crests a shallow rise. In the distance a line of poplar trees. Tall in these flat lands, tall and leaning. Windswept like so many feathery plumes. Something to fasten her gaze onto.

She relaxes her grip, eases back into her seat, props elbow on window moulding.

Ahead on the left a break in the green wall. She slows the van. A huge willow gracefully billowing. Lugubrious boughs cascading over wide picket fencing. Thin leaves fluttering. A lively skirt tracing its shapely pleats to the ground.

She pulls slowly into the drive. At this end of the fence a weatherbeaten metal mailbox. Surmounted by a small sign. Bridge Farm. The letters barely legible.

At a creep she continues up the drive. The house comes into view. Beside the house, at a remove, a couple of outbuildings, cinderblock walls crumbling, and a number of old pick-up trucks mired in long grasses. Colors fading. Rust taking hold.

She turns the van and parks facing the house. Toggles the windows down. Turns off the engine. Sits there awhile looking at the house. A two-storey rancher that has seen better days. From the landing extends a long wheelchair ramp, at the end of which is a simple cargo van.

Running a hand across her forehead she takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. She is breathing in the smells. When she opens her eyes again there is a goodly sized and somewhat stooping older man standing by the open front door of the house.


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