Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beachcombing the Great Plains

by Maureen Kingston

“I love forms beyond my own and regret the borders between us” -- Loren Eiseley

She’s out pilgrimaging again, searching for a peaceful place to kneel, to take stock. The wind blows her to a familiar dent in the Sandhills, a trove of ruin hidden by tallgrass and dune. Blood-and-flesh folk lived here once, a settlement of clay houses and lean-tos. Only a stand of graves remains: larger than a family plot, smaller than a cemetery.

She steps around the fading slabs, steers to the misfit, the object of her obsession. The first time she saw it she thought it was a Christmas ham studded with cloves. She wanted to tear off a piece of crackle, let its juice run down her chin. Later, in a different mood, she imagined the blob to be the petrified remains of a dinosaur sneeze. A science pal eventually set her straight, identified the errant rock as chondrite, a spongy meteorite.

Mystery solved. And not solved. She still doesn’t know why the chunk of char brings comfort; why stroking its alien Braille calms her mind. The settlers must’ve been comforted by it, too, or why bury their dead around it?

summertime reading . . .
alone, never alone
stone rubbing

No comments:

Post a Comment