if yesterday was october

we rode on out to see your cousins down along the river road, into the delta and god was it beautiful, America. dazzling on an autumn afternoon. we paid respects to your mom along the way. the sun would leave the cemetery sky red hot on its descent in the west. i never knew your father was an artist until you showed me his studio deep in the lot, behind the garage. there was a portrait of a beautiful woman on the easel, maybe the beloved in the beloved years? 94 now he lives with sophia the cavalier.

back to wood floors. they are pulling up the carpets now. the orange tree what with its lime hybrid. beginning to bear fruit. we shared baked beans and fried chicken and i listened to his story of coming to this country, up from Mexico, a teenager hoping on some work and a couple hundred dollars to take home. an older man convinced him to hop the freight train and go north to Indio. from there they decided on Sacramento. the man taught him if you dress up a little you can get work easy. he doesn’t know what became of his friend, who got drunk one night and disappeared. that was three quarters of a century ago. old sacramento was a community of migrants.

i wonder about the spirit and where it travels when somebody is no longer around? your dad is a good man. what a life. he’s been through it. and he still gets up and out into the orchard for it. working for more at ninety-four20181103_1542374094984673028438353.jpg.

fall soft

the grapefruit ice you drink upon the delta breeze

with summer lost its spark

calm down. you need not rush

the leaves to turn and

softly fall upon the crossing

walk

time to sit and talk

all the cell phones gone and what a world

would be. what a world once

was and how we got along you

fingered my blouse i cried to think so

soon you would be

gone

yes

The quality of life changed, i could sleep at night and stay up all day. i found an exceptional colombian coffee which filled my thermos with a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar and cream, and lasted all day long. i was happily employed in the art of conversation, beneath the surface of dysfunctional meet and greets. spring was coming on strong and every other person with allergies. the cats found entertainment in the yards, after a long winter indoors. i replanted my plant and set it on the windowsill where it prospered. my boyfriend took me for pancakes early mornings, and then we hit the depot for large sacks of mulch, five for ten, and i helped him toss them into the bed of the truck. he took them to the Delta for the orchards.  -KatYa, 2017