July 10th, 1999



From the junction of Texas Highway 87 and Texas Highway 83 in Hemphill:
Take Highway 83 East 7 miles to Highway 3382
Turn South on 3382 and go 3.9 miles to Indian Mounds Recreation Area.
Along the way you will see signs to Indian Mounds Wilderness Area – don’t be confused – IT is WILDERNESS, not the Recreation Area


It is always the same minute everywhere. Only the hours change if you are here or there. The days too. The years. Here there is a picnic and he sits wearing bib overalls at a table under the pavillon staring at the moon peaking from a blue sky its face like his face the minutes his eyes constant and serene. He listens to the jaybirds singing in the dogwoods past their white bloom. The limp stalk of a wildflower droops in his right hand. His other hand is held out to his side the fingers moving.

“You Solomon you want a hot dog?”

The table behind him is cluttered with plates and dishes for the potluck. He smells the grill the burning meat and the corner of his mouth drools. Dulcinea takes a napkin from her lap and dabs his chin. She looks small and does not show her age sitting next to him hunched over rocking steadily his left arm out to his side the fingers moving.

“I don’t know I think last Sunday enough hot dogs got ate. Did you go to the fireworks?”

“I did. I had to leave I thought he would like the lights but the noise of them going off scared him. I swear he made enough sound I don’t think anyone else could hear’em.”

“You are good, Dulcy.”

“Well now sometimes I lose faith in human nature but then I look at his face how sweet he is like an angel and the Lord restores my faith and I see His love for His creatures just like my Mama always said before she knew the end and that was the end she never got to kiss him goodbye.”

“How do you do it? Don’t you feel like people walkin’ all over you?”

“Oh I always knew I wasn’t clever I don’t like contention and so some think I don’t know what I want that I am weak but sometimes you gotta go down gotta have it all stripped away to know what fear is substantial fear not some unknown cued by streams of data and have courage and then it is holy the company of others… I hope Abe be here soon. I never had a daughter. With boys it is different.”

And Dulcinea her hair peppered with gray sits next to her son a grown man and listens to the wind as it moves through the trees a soft almost unnoticeable smile appearing on her lips like she is in some garden memory and as he rocks his fingers moving she starts to sway gentle to the rhythm of his rocking the sway of the dogwoods the more solid cedars how back at home in Hemphill in the town square beneath them the old men were playing dominos the strands from the branches how they rise and fall to the breeze like tears moving from tree to tree the moon also in her sight beneath the overhang of the pavillon how it blends and blurs in the blue like a face concealed in makeup and she wonders if she made it exist if it hung there in the day sky because she could see it because enough people saw it her family here gathered together and it was that which affected the tide how the waters moved.

“Do you hear it?”

But she knows he will not answer. She brought the guitar case it is under the table she is using it as a footstool her father’s guitar.

“Here now Abe be here soon. Whyn’t I grab your fishin’ pole. You and Abe can go fishin’ like you did when you were boys.”

He is not afflicted I tasted salt and I knew I knew he moves like to the Spanish moss and she smiles to herself again thinking of the home he is in now the people there some hearing voices no other could hear how the void is not void of spirits what lives and moves through everything what is brought in and out of existence by thinking it so and somewhere somewhere out there beneath the water there is a fish.