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Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Abbott’

Ekphrasis 10: Daniel Ribar + Katherine Abbott

April 6, 2007 4 comments

A house in the world

by Daniel Ribar

*

Barn standing

If no fire guts it,
the sills rot out.
Oak a foot thick
will give to damp
within two hundred years.

Ice first split
the stone below.
Bore with a stone drill;
fill the groove with water.
One winter
will shear granite.

When the sills give,
the clapboards pleat
under the weight
of hay wagons.
The windows buckle,
and every summer
we mend the glass.

by Katherine Abbott

Not for Nothing

March 13, 2006 7 comments

I remember the first lie I told. My friend Garrett and I wanted to walk to the raspberry fields across from our two houses. I told my mother that his mother would come with us, so we could go alone. We walked the thirty feet to the field and then, slowly, up between the rows. Dry straw lay flat on the raised beds. It was late spring. In August, the bushes would grow high enough to block us from the street, and we would skim the first berries, reaching up, before the pickers came.

We walked between the rows in separate channels and stopped halfway to the pond. We looked back along the compressed earth. I picked up a stick and scraped straw away. We had the afternoon to ourselves. I wanted to leave.

Lying has grown more complicated since then. I remember that young lie because I don’t tell that kind now. I write stories, and so I don’t pretend that alternate realities are real. These days, I lie by silence. I lie by not asking and not objecting. It’s easy to say ‘I love you’ and hard to say ‘I’m afraid for you’. It’s easy to hold someone; it’s hard to say how much it means that they will hold me.

Garrett and I are still friends. He lives two thousand miles away, and he’s engaged to a woman I don’t know. We talk about occupation and objectivism. We have cared for each other a long time, and we see each other not often enough. In December, we walked past the raspberry fields in a mist that hid the pond. A lighted window hung in the haze of the woods, and the air was warm if we kept moving.

We were alone for the only time this visit. I asked what he did in his free time. He told me he wanted to start an evening of conversations at his apartment, once a month. That was all we had time for. He called me later on my birthday. He gave me a bottle of raspberry wine.

Written by Katherine Abbott of Spring Farm Almanac.

Categories: Lies and Hiding Tags: