Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Across the pasture, they stepped into the shadows of the barn.
"Oh my God," he said. "This is so cool. I can't believe you grew up here."
"Why?" she said.
He touched the whitewashed stone and picked up some dust. He brushed the color from his fingertips onto his pants.
"I don't know. I see more you in the city. Like hanging out in coffee shops. Maybe going to an open-mike poetry night some evening."
She turned a switch, and a string of dirty bulbs pushed the twilight from the stalls.
"Did you do chores?" he said.
"Yes. Especially in here."
She stood by a post where an old, cracked halter hung from a nail. She turned the leather over in her hand.
"I took care of my horse," she said. "And the other animals."
"You didn't tell me you had a horse."
"His name was Tobacco," she said.
She laughed a little and leaned on the rail. "No. When I was little, we used to drive to Georgia to visit my Aunt. I loved looking at the fields and the tobacco barns. I thought it was kind of romantic. I didn't know any different."
"It's a cute name."
Standing back, he imagined a dark horse in the stall. It's rippled shoulders and large, black eyes.
Over her shoulder, the sparse snow glowed blue in the failing light.
"I haven't thought about that in years," she said quietly.
"College will do that to you, I guess. Going home is strange for me too."
Her gaze seemed to fall somewhere far away.
"I used to ride in the night," she said. "Even in the snow. My father yelled at me, but finally he gave up."
He wanted to lay a hand on her back, but hesitated.
"I used to say things to Tobacco," she said. "I used to think he was listening to me. Understanding me."
"What kinds of things?"
But she didn't answer.
His attention drifted again to the snow. In spring, the ground would be soft and rich. The prints of his boots might sink deep.
Turning back, he realized she was staring at him now.
Before he could speak, she kissed him with a quick kiss.
"Let's go," she said.
Outside in the new night, their footsteps crunched crystal castles sprouted from the ground. As she pressed against him, he caught the whispering presence of spring.
(Photo taken this weekend with the new lens. I love the unpredictable results of twilight photography, and the inevitable challenges.)