Issue 9 :: Summer 2007 
 Avatar Review

Ed Higgins

Forgetting You

I cannot, of course. I bring you back at the oddest times
like during a hail storm in southern California,
of all places. Remembering how we tried once
to catch those tiny white pellets
bouncing off our open palms.

Before they could melt count them you said,
each round wet pearl meant good luck
and many years of happiness together,
in some ancient Chinese saying
you had just made up.

And then laughing in all this strange downpour
and swirling youth and fanciful wisdom
you said we had to feed them to each other too
before they melted entirely from the heat of our hands,
to insure their good luck on our tongues.

Walking the Back Field

Ascending night over the farm’s fields,
an orange-green sunlight disappearing
to the west off the timothy pasture where
I am walking the perimeter, checking fence
as I always say to my wife, wanting to seem practical.
But really for love of the cool August breeze coming in
from neighboring hills as the late summer sun sets low
just above the distant coastal range. The horizon is scorched in such flame
distant mountain fir trees must be turning their backs
to the brightness descending behind them. I am watching
my young whippet crisscrossing the field ahead of me,
trolling for field mice in the waning light. Though she seldom catches one.
Soon she will be harrying our grazing Jersey steers through the near-dusk.
In wide, fast circles she will run the four of them until confused
and worried by barking and heel-nipping energy--while I worry
one day they will connect in their panicked kicking--they head back
for the barn leaving the field to her canine authority and smug satisfaction.
Now evening moths flickering over the grass distract her,
and as if our oxygen intake were a magnet drawing them,
mosquitoes like iron filings, their blood music harrying our ears,
makes us hurry past the feral pear tree along the far fence line.
So returning from our inspection around the farm’s edge,
that’s really only been to touch again falling darkness, evening’s soft magic,
to feel later summer grass clipped by cows under our feet,
and smell clean, cooling air as we listen to crickets and the owl
waiting in the pear tree for us to leave her hunting ground.
When we have returned from all these favors
the dog and I pass through the barnyard again
putting out the lights in the chicken house and calf pens.

Avatar Review 9 Contents 
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