Were my mind a ravine, there would be a creek testing itself against the boulders and fallen limbs. Were my eyes amber jewels, they would gather moonlight to help scholars of the dark do their challenging work. And imagine my mouth being a purse, which would gather rather than spew. My heart, then, would be a clenched fist whose fingers would loosen, its palm warm to the touch of you.
Walking the Dog
Columnar Basalt, Latourell Falls, OR
This is work we know, pulling plywood across sawhorses, stapling down newspapers, transforming garage into butcher shop. From the shed, my husband shoulders a massive hindquarter the color of eggplant, throws it down with a thud, begins to cut. Once the jelly roll pan is piled high with roasts bright as garnets, I start to wrap, first in Saran, then freezer paper. When the stainless steel bowl overflows with trimmings, I move to the kitchen, feed the hungry grinder, watch strands emerge like thick yarn. This moose will nourish in chili, pot roast, spaghetti sauce, in months when early supper is eaten long past dark.
Deborah Chava Singer