Harsh 20s Reality

A walnut tree covered in flowering honeysuckle. A maple tree covered with fruiting ivy. A utility pole, so covered with trumpet-creeper that it looks like a pine from down the road. This happens again and again.

Loops of cable suspended from a utility pole. A cornstalk with one ear of corn growing from the base of a utility pole. A lineman has punched holes in a metal card on a utility pole. What does it mean?

A yew, its wood painted fluorescent green. Next to it, a path of pavers painted fluorescent green, leading behind the duplex.

A C of miscellaneous bricks, laid too close to the base of a tiny apple tree. Next door, a new fire pit surrounded by old camp chairs. One bench made by threading a thin plank through cinderblocks. On the dead end of a road: an orderly pile of masonry units crowned by a single Ionic capital.

Ten buckets from Menards in a gravel driveway, five black, five green; planted in each one, a sunflower. Two of the sunflowers are alive.

A long white pipe from a ridge of dirt. Farther along: a mailbox, which is anchored in a concrete plug, which is lodged in another ridge of dirt.

A pile of shale chips in someone’s front yard, colored with rust here and there, also some pieces of clay pipe. Where did that all come from?

Written on a stucco wall: 2485. Written on an alley fence: LOST ORANGE CAT. Rapidly spreading tag, written on utility poles, bins, foundations: ECIG.

Painted over the glass panes of a garage door: blue sky and white clouds.

Stuck down with packing tape around the base of a white ash tree: a sheaf of fake flowers, one can of pink lemonade and two bottles of Budweiser, and a teddy bear in an orange vest.

(October 2020)