Sunday, February 3, 2013

a memory of fire and ducks

When I was about five years old, the chicken barn in the grassy field across from our home caught fire.  The entire field.

Through our living room window I watched a few of the neighborhood children stomp on flames in rubber boots.  Their father had recently bought the field, and eventually he built a subdivision there.  They were pink and yellow mansions that, to this day, loom like gigantic sore thumbs over an otherwise beautiful countryside.

My parents had ducks in the backyard.  I was afraid of the larger ones, but one time my Dad brought a duckling, towel-wrapped, into the kitchen.  He put the yellow, trembling fluff of a bird in front of the small heating vent and I was permitted to touch the soft down feathers.

When the subdivision went in we couldn't have ducks anymore.  It was something to do with the water.


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