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-four.