the photograph as closely as you like, only you will not be able to
locate the child in it.
will not be able to locate anything that will become important.
couples move from the northeast to the northwest, say.
log cabin and fifteen acres of lodgepole pine just outside the viewfinder
that brought them here with the perhaps not completely unpredictable
promise of a wired-down life.
slightly more wired-down life.
parents long brawl with cancer that wrecked your fathers
lungs sixteen years ago, your mothers breasts five.
after her mothers funeral (also cancer, also breast), the woman
in the photograph simply turned and walked down the driveway toward
the waiting car, slid in beside you, and drove out of her fathers
say, the iridescent mountain bluebird.
frisky dry breeze.
iridescent mountain bluebird immobilized in mid-flight in the frisky
dry breeze behind the photographer, a thin-necked cattle rancher in
a straw cowboy hat and sharp-toed boots from half a mile down the
road who dropped by that morning to welcome you to this new place.
welcome you to this new place and to check you out, needless to say.
perform local reconnaissance.
man who snapped the picture in question when you asked if he would
be so kind.
the sheen on the grass looked to you like someone had spilled white
electric stutter of the phone as the picture in question was being
the scene splintered back into everydayness.
her grandmother spoke to you on the other end of the line when you
her grandmother spoke to you on the other end of the the line and
the pickup truck.
pickup truck and the hunters that ended it all: the things you can
see, the things you cannot.
grandmother saying how far away you sounded, how worried she was she
might never see her grandchildren.
in fact she ever found herself in a position to possess grandchildren,
you tell a story to yourself so many times you begin to think it may
never have really happened. That it is just a good story you made
up. Only then you realize you have told it so many times it must have
happened or you would not be telling it so often.
listening to her grandmother, point-of-view began darting around inside
your head like that mountain bluebird, seeing yourself seeing and
a television commercial for bleach.
way, no matter how hard you try, you are unable to locate a single
thing here that ultimately matters.