The Property

If places could talk, wonder what it would say. The hundred acre land explored that day. It was quite cold so

they gathered at the trailer’s porch, in white, plastic chairs, looking out at the land beyond, while
it rained in pours.

A cat with a single, wild eye kept peeking from the bushes.
Always the one to puff out his chest and remain Alpha, he would stagger down the path with a bottle of whiskey in his hand
and shoo it away.
Then a malicious dog, with a foaming, rabid mouth sneered–
so the two men, holding branches for weapons, decided to get territorial
ushered the dog away. Though, whose to say,
of the three,
which one belonged more to the land–
us, or they.
We’re the strangers here, she realized, in wordless thought,
so silent it was barely audible,
so fragmentalized, never materialized
in clear, thin air.

Star-watching while the campfire blazed.
“I can’t seeeeeeee,” the formal whine.
“You need a Muskoka chair…a Mus-ko-ka chair,” he repeated,
enunciating each syllable like so.
In the abandoned barn, he missed a step
and howled while they scrambled
from the upper deck–
Blood in the skin yet he wouldn’t complain.
He stayed in bed until eleven
with a pounding in his head.
He made his way out only when
they flew a kite overhead
and yelled in excitement.

She smiled from across the table
the one precious moment they were alone.
She said she could feel the pressure mounting from each side
and that she was sitting on the very edge, somewhere far and mountainous,
just waiting
to explode.

Why do you have to bring that up
at a moment when I feel
most free?

Is this what we’re going to do now–write?”
They came here inside an old green van, with the biggest sense of entitlement I had ever seen. They drove all the way in and parked right beside their small trailer. When he climbed out his shoulders were spread, his chin in the air as if he already owned the place. She came out in a black dress, the loose frills swirling in the wind, her curls fluttering as she exited the vehicle in a soft slump, looking around from behind cowering, withdrawn eyes.

He helped her unpack – moving bags of groceries towards the trailer, backpacks of clothes. She kept nodding to his instructions, smiling, nodding, until he stopped, took a step back and studied her. It was a full second before he grinned back, hugging her, somewhat hesitantly, I noticed, before going back to the van and driving away.

For six hours until the sun set, she sat by the porch, book open in her lap but not reading, legs outstretched, feet pointed to the sky—unmoving—until with a sudden jerk she slapped a prancing fly on her arm and went back inside the trailer until the stars came out. For hours light flooded out of her trailer before being exhaled out around six in the morning.

For the next few days I would watch her silently, trod around the place with a small smile and a walking stick, trying to discover us—picking the flowers she liked from here, trying to feel around in the dark for the pond, never speaking—just that small withdrawn smile, eyes to the sky, hands in a knot.

She spent most of her time sitting at the porch with an open book on her lap but not reading. 


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