Last night Mom (that is to say, my wife – I have a passage in Coop in which I wonder exactly how long is it after the children arrive that a man begins calling his wife mom) hosted book club (no, they never discuss my books, I’m not sure my career would survive) so after supper I took the girls for a long walk out our driveway and down the county road where crews have just replaced the old rusty corrugated culvert with a concrete tube. It’s a big’n, and even Amy the oldest sister can run through it standing up. After the big Never Play in Culverts Without a Grownup speech, I turned’em loose and they burned a good half hour running and hooting through the tubular echo chamber. Lots of Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, with the youngest one flinging herself on me in mock fear. Good fun, the smell of baled hay and the sound of evening bird calls all around.
After both were tucked in I strode manfully around in the twilight completing the evening chores, certain that the book club was watching me with barely subdued admiration, this man of letters who moves so easily from father putting his children safely abed to farmer securing his livestock for the long dark night. It is likely (I imagined them thinking) that upon retiring he will take a notepad from the bedstand and compose a sestina honoring the earth before taking his rest.
Must have gotten really caught up in it, because this morning there were chickens everywhere. Forgot to close the coop door.
No sestina, neither.
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