own these woods: they are mine. I have a piece of paper
that says so. But whose woods are they, really? Some would
say they can belong only to God . . . or to no one at all.
these woods rightfully beong to the original inhabitants
of the land, disenfranchised though they may be; or maybe
to the creatures that live here now: the deer and the foxes,
the chipmunks and squirrels and birds.
have a piece of paper that says I own these glorious woods
that encircle my home. But how can any one of us own anything
that cradles a crystal-clear blue sky atop swaying pines
and graceful autumn-bare branches?
a groundhog meanders
into the clearing
Cathy Drinkwater Better
of computers take up most of the open area under the glass
dome. Everywhere are bright shelves with movies, discs,
video games. on the other side of the metal-detector, a
sale rack of used books and magazines.
with a broken spine
fat girl with green hair screams at her friend in line at
What the hell are you
I'm just returning these
overdue books from last Christmas.
Are you still going
with what's-his-face? Bummer. Well, I'm outta here. This
place gives me the creeps. I need a cigarette. I smoke two
packs a day, my mother would kill me.
forgets why he's there
forgive the thief who broke into our room at the Bezhad
and stole our duffel bag. I forgive him because time has
passed and I am still alive and he most likely is not. We
were inexperienced travelers then and had padlocked all
our valuables in that bag: cameras, Nikon lenses, binoculars,
and medications. Soon after the robbery I came down with
dysentery. I lay on my bunk covered with a torn blanket,
rising only to drag myself to the filthy toilet down the
hall. My temperature climbed to 104 degrees. I cursed the
man who had stolen our antibiotics. For three days I fasted
and hallucinated, and thought about where I would be buried.
But on October 10th, my thirtieth birthday, the fever broke.
Rising from my sickbed I walked to the verandah and raised
my hands to the sky. The sun was shining. The next day we
would head overland across the desert to Mazar-e-Sharif.
call to worship
the jingle of horse carts
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