I've been trying to relax, looking out at the birds and the lowlands, but there are so many downed trees and broken trees in my field of vision. Maybe it's a bad idea to drink coffee first thing in the morning, like a jolt of speed. Then you plug into the box and find out how many people died while you were sleeping, and not just the ones who died when the house fell on them, or the ones who were trying to run somewhere to get away from the killing. No, I mean the ones who are over there looking at their neighborhood, just like mine. The trees that are down, when you look close, were dropped by shells fired somewhere nearby. The marks on their road were put there by tanks. If I look out at my yard and see tanks rolling by, firing at people running away and smashing down my trees. Maybe even someone I know is just under those fallen trees, one of the ones trying to run away. It makes my stomach feel funny.
See, I have a brother in law in a hospital, with stitches that go all over and deep, holding him together in a way that makes even the hardest surgeon pray a bit. That's beside the point, who they are doesn't matter. I can say I know so many people near to death, not quite there and having completely different prognosis that it makes a wonderful circle that is archetypal and easily transportable. Then I think of any other place in the world and drop that circle over it. I think of Rotterdam, which was leveled nicely at it's center and has a lot of people who remember the bombs. My brother in law comes from Hungary and has a good handle on things like tanks in the streets. I suppose having a neighbor who seems just the type to rally a crowd with a pitchfork and torch doesn't help me feel comfy. All neighborhoods are the same at their core, and Kore is an aspect of Persephone, who in any of the myths still went thru a lot of changes thru no fault of Her own. Anything can happen.
I wanted to saw those trees down, myself. I figured they would get real tall and die and collapse on the house, so that was a good reason to want to shave the elm goddess. Still, now I have to have someone cut up and stack the limbs and trunks and then cut down the 20' tall stumps. I suppose it would be real hard to get this done if there were snipers looking to shoot people who looked like they were making things easy for tanks to get through. That would put a dent in my yard work. Of course in a lot of places where there are snipers they don't have big yards like mine, or if they have property this big they have all of it under production, unless of course somebody puts a mine field in it, or a road for tanks with mines on it and people who seem to live in the trees beyond and who shoot people who try to clean up the yard, especially if they have never seen me or my family at Sunday, Friday, or Saturday worship.
What if some thugs with rifles, fully automatic rifles, came one night and informed us that some people would be living in my garage from now on and we were not to walk within a few yards of the place, as the dogs might not like it? Well, maybe I digress, but still. I was preparing to wash the dishes and started thinking about the view, my studio. What if they took it away? They can do that, they wrote and published papers that say they can do that. And they got a blathering idiot to sign his mark on the papers, so of course, that makes it better. But they can take anything they want, anytime they want and that makes me want to work faster, before it happens. Of course we can never say "It can't happen here." because it did, many times, and it was always unpleasant. We think that of course Syria would never have the balls to attack the big, bad, nuclear United States, especially if the head of the military were a drooling incoherent moron, but, I say to you, brothers and sisters, can you honestly say that no Syrian would have the balls to walk up to you and pump a magazine into you before you could squint at their name tag or ID card? Oh, I have to say I do indeed think that almost anybody you can see has the capacity to do just that. This is why a neighborhood is nice, you look out for one another. We bomb entire neighbor hoods out of existence in, oh so many places around the world.
What if some remnant of some neighborhood somewhere decided to even the score on your neighborhood? Oh sure, their government wouldn't have the guts, although oddly enough even the so-called "towel heads" are doing a good job of killing many of our trained troops every day. Man, anybody who wants to kill an American can somehow make it to Iraq, and they could just walk up to a patrol or a dance and do them all in. You might even get to go back home and brag about it. Sometimes they make videos of them doing it, along with instructions on how to do it yourself! Yes, and there are a LOT of neighborhoods where bombs or bullets with little American flags fell, sometimes passing through the skull of a little girl who was running to get her only soccer ball. Cheesy story, yet true. I bet her uncle would love to get some of those videos, or fully automatic rifles. He might be willing to wait until his travel papers come in and he can take it home to roost. There are hundreds of thousands of dead people with friends and relations with little American flags on them. Sometimes we don't let the families take the bodies in, we shoot at suspected looters.
Now I look past the broken elms to the road and I see a patch of white. It's Jess, with her head smashed in from a mortar round and her white pants getting all muddy as they roll by. Even when they pass it's too dangerous to do anything but hide in the bathroom and steal a look when things get quiet. Years from now I'll see the crows sitting on the broken ends of the elms, laughing, laughing, laughing.
But it's just a patch of snow beat down by the passing cars. The crows are sitting on the broken stumps of the elms and they are laughing.