Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

2/25/2003

And then I woke as if from a dream, and everything was domestic, and regionalist, as I prefer; the Minnesotan sun shining on all but making nothing warmer, the chrome toaster assembling pieces of bread, the writing desk I inherited from my great grandfather that held only a calculator with no writing instrument to see; and I thought to myself that the domestic sphere, such as a mirrorball set in a garden to scare away birds, was all a person ever needed, as if the coastal accretions of the aristocratic chanticleers held any bearings on what I hold dear; which is to say, I hold dear the need that nothing outside the walls of my split-level need ever touch me, for all that nourishes exists within shouting distance, as it once existed in the mid-west, when easterners pioneered and become somethingelse, and when my house used to be a pond; and so the owls at night listen to my hope chest, though it says nothing, for I myself am the deepening brook, the glacial smudge, and no one in my household is a pontifex, except perhaps for the dog, and what would in another era be named as a xanadu of self-absorption is now a great comfort, for wraiths exist, palpably, in the little holes of memory, as they once did, and how could it ever be worth the effort to exhume these revenants, when they want to let you know is that houses will disassemble, families will die, the very charter a person makes with the world is fraught with a reversion so total that it blows past the garden of innocence, the tree of knowledge, the naming, to a place where nothing is really happening, nor a place, and in fact the fool who thought for a lark to start a seven-day panoply ends up moving to something else a little more constructive?

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