for Mike Cannell 6
Outside of town, there is a field where people are tied to rows and rows of posts standing upright in the bare ground. The sun rises above the field. It sets over the hills beyond. There are only the shadows of others, the shadows of the posts. They grow long, grow short, then grow long again before fading into night. It is quiet save for the murmuring of the people, the small songs of the children, and the sounds of traffic on the country roads.
In spring, green shoots sprout on the posts, and in time, grow into twisting branches covered in tongue-shaped leaves. Summer brings cool breezes, warm rain, and an ease to the field. Autumn is beautiful: the yellow leaves of the posts, the butter-coloured light on the faces of the people, that feeling of nostalgia and regret and of the poetic nature of all things. There is sorrow in the winter field. The people clad only in thin coats or shawls huddle against the now bare posts, and look nowhere. The drifts form around them, the wind bites at their skin. But then, spring with its birds and green shoots arrives again, and the people resume their songs and their talk. They watch for the insects, the warm sun, and the pleasant flight of birds.
There are other fields, I tell the people. Fields where the people do not have posts, fields where the people are tied to the spot through some trick of the mind, some deception of the personality. They do not have such fine posts, or chains, or even a ground of such fertility. And my post, it should bring them hope. My post which I carry with me, even into my cave on the side of the hill.