My darling. You are the reason I pulled on boots and jacket, braced, myself and you, against the winter drip. Drip, the clear raindrops fall one-by-one from the rusty barn roof. I wanted to show you, you see, this old barn where my Mother’s horse (she named him Mr.) once lived. The dusty old feed bin, the place where they once stacked hay, and it still smells like a horse in there. The smell is brown, slightly sweet, like something living, though the hay is long gone and Mr. has been dead for oh so many years. I think they pushed him into the gully when he breathed his last, it was on my 16th birthday, and he was 32 years.
See, my dear, I thank you for giving me new eyes. You peeled off those old scales when you were born. When they placed you on my knees, you sat there red, staring, no need to cry–you just took it in with big round saucers, quivering your arms a little. I knew then that you were wiser than me and sent to tell me something different. I see now like the blind man. Now the Christ spit in dust and wiped it on my blinds. Open—I see the trees like humans walking.
I stare freshly at the old magnolia, the one I climbed when I was seven. Now I see it as a beautiful statue. You are in my arms, and I trace again and again the shape of a magnolia leaf with my eyes because I ached for it but had not known for what when I was away. It may be two years till I return, but I will to remember, to burn the outline of that magnolia leaf against the sky into my brain, and I stroke the turquoise lichen like aged copper crusted on a straight skeleton.
See, we walk on a thick carpet of rich rotting life matter. I never knew what jewels the dead leaves were underfoot until I walked years in desert dust. I see it like a pirate treasure chest now, that rotting log sprinkled with white mushrooms. The electric green moss I run my hands over, drinking in the living carpet. It is emeralds, and I breathe in the wet brown-gold smell. Oh, thank you for these new spectacles.