I am only inclined to tell this story, before I can no longer speak, because no one I have been rash enough to tell it to so far believes it. Right now, I’ll restrict myself to what is believable and that is simply that a puppy followed my neighbor pushing his way up the long path through the wild grass and tall red osiers that were not beaten down by my narrow, daily footsteps. He looked like a friendly dog although I cannot remember why I agreed to take him in.
His name was Fred. I let him sleep inside my cabin containing a hand pump for water, kerosene lamps for light and a wood stove on the edge of central Maine’s vast forest lands. On his first day Fred tore open the sealed food bag and stuffed himself with dog food until his stomach bloated. When he saw me refill his bowl he knew this was home. Eventually, Fred would earn the title of “bad dog”. I forgave him. I hope he forgave me. However, that gets into the unbelievable part that I’ve promised myself I must tell, but which I cannot tell, just yet, because I am trying to make it clear how cute he looked walking innocently through that tall grass.
WATER FLOWS DOWNHILL
FILLING STREAMS FROM MAPLE GROVES
AUTUMN LOSES WARMTH
Written for dVerse Haibun Monday.
Photo: "Orderly Entanglement" by the author.
Hear the author read this haibun on SoundCloud.
And that’s when Alice wanted to know when
I was going to grow up and she apologized
for giving me the arsenic even though it was
only imaginary arsenic and then she started
crying because she wasn’t real any more than
that arsenic and that’s why she acted the way
she did and I told her ‘It’s OK’ because what
else was I going to say and then I told her that
even atoms were almost all empty space, nothing
there, and she said, ‘Really?’ and I said ‘Sure’
and then she wanted to know about that tiny stuff
in the middle of the atom and she started to cry
again and I had to tell her that when that stuff
was a wave of potentiality it wasn’t there any
more than she was and she said, ‘Really?’ and
I had to think because I didn’t want to lie to
her and I didn’t want her to start crying again
and as far as I could tell she was more real
than any old atom was and so I said ‘Sure’.
I told myself that I should be about 170 pounds
and sometimes I check in the morning to see if
my body got the message and usually it didn’t,
but it turned out today that the scale showed 167
pounds which kind of surprised me and made
me wonder if there was something wrong with
the scale or if I needed to tell my eyes to see
more clearly but it looks like my body finally came
through and then I wondered what if I could
levitate and then Alice appeared and she wanted
to know what I was doing and I told her that my
body finally did what I told it to do and she wasn’t
impressed and she wanted to know about that
levitating nonsense I was jabbering about and I
told her I thought it would be cool to become
weightless for a while and she told me that would
mess up my ideas about gravity and did I really want
another cognitive dissonance experience so soon
and then she mumbled something I deliberately
ignored about needing to appreciate whatever
experiences I might have while I had the chance.
A second link to dVerse Meeting the Bar. Amaya is hosting and hopefully this poem is more in line with the prompt. By the way, I now weight about 160 pounds and we have upgraded our technology since those dark ages to a digital scale.