Straw bales from the street party last Saturday sat on the sidewalk in front of Josh’s house. He e-mailed the neighbors that the bales were up for grabs. I double-parked and hoisted one onto my pickup bed, resurrecting the boy on the trailer in Uncle Vic’s alfalfa field hooking bales with an iron claw and stacking them. Is it possible to have nostalgia for something so miserable, hot, itchy, endless.

This bale is as heavy as those of yore.

I don’t know what I intend to do with it. When I was trying to coax trees into shading the parental house of the plains I’d collar the crowns with wheat straw six inches deep, knowing the straw would cool the soil and help retain moisture the trees needed. They were flourishing when my parents sold the house.

My sister drove by the house last spring and said the trees looked terrible, like they were dying along with the rest of the town.  All flesh will soon be grass.

I will cast the straw about in my garden and it will look completely bizarre until it weathers. If we get rain the blending in will not take long. If we don’t, well…

Bale in the bed, Randy and I drove to Land’s End. Despite the Park Services best efforts, Land’s End is still majestic. There I discovered that everyone is asking the question, dear reader, that you by now are asking:


photo by Randy Tate


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