The Bending and the Undergrowth

Honea family outdoorsYou are sitting on the sofa or standing in the kitchen. Perhaps you are leaning in the corridor, flat across your bed, silent in the backseat, or straddling the movements of toilet and treadmill.

You are reading these words like they matter or you are skimming them quickly with nothing close to thought. Perhaps you are adding tone where none is intended, placing emphasis on the mundane, and ignoring the implied.

Now this is where your path meets mine and we find a wood to stroll through. This is where the kindness of your visit is appreciated and I offer tea not by the cup but at least by the letter. This is where we find a spot of sunbeam and let it shine upon us.

The twigs beneath our feet snap and twist like tangents, and here is the one I follow:

If I throw my head back carefree as hell and let my laugh scream to the sky, how long before my breath becomes a swarm of bees or my lips unhinge, my face splayed wide upon the horizon? Where is the line between exuberance and fairly awkward? At what point do you move from amused to embarrassed and leave me yelling in my merriment, open as a season?

Fortunately for you I have no time for happiness and little want to plan it. This should save you from a good share of discomfort and the nakedness of shame. This should make the day somewhat enjoyable with the irony lost upon the masses. Life is all about the narrow misses.

I am torn and I am tired, tender to the touch and even when I’m lonely. Time is a clock slowly ticking and the cause and cure of all that ails us. It is the greatest joke ever told and we are all walking on the punchline. It is mending me by sleight of hand and sigh-filled meander—marking the calendar with scars and wrinkles—better by the day and sometimes slightly less so.

Light after darkness is as steady as a sunrise, and I am standing in it, covered in shadow and a brow warm with sincerity. The twigs are all but broken.

You are standing with me. Or perhaps you have been sitting. There is a story falling in the forest, and we are lucky enough to hear it.

Your hand is soft and careful.

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