sidebrow

story

We pretended to die in backyards. Birds waved their songs at us. The woods grew along our creek at the edge of town. A lucky voice asked why. On the town side, up the hill, the metal shop flickered and people went deaf. Outside the shop Fat Dewey told us this story: Once there was a daughter who had two fathers, so one father was sent into the forest. In fact, that forest there. When he had walked for three days, another daughter appeared to him. She was sad of heart from head to foot, but she allowed the father to walk with her and hold her hand for a time. Then his hand suddenly felt cold, and when he looked at her she vanished. The father found himself alone in the woods and very tired. He lay down beneath an oak tree. As he slept, winter came. His breathing slowed, his hair grew thick. He hibernated, like a bear. When he woke it was spring, he had acorns growing in his hair. He thought that everything was a dream so he kept trying to wake up. He’s still out there, trees growing out of his head, waking up over and over, every spring. His invisible daughter is out there too. That’s all I remember. Dewey spat. From the shop we watched each leaf. Some stones turned to butter in the sun.