Somewhere up north of here, there is a field full of strawberries in the middle of the sky. The best berries hide in the middle of the rows shaded by green-leaf fans and white flowers with buttercup centers that remind me of the dumplings with the buttery middles my father tried to steal from me when I was small. Pay seven dollars and walk down a sandy path past the Old Lady with Her Bum in the Air. (Don't say "follow the old lady bum!" Because that bum belongs to someone's mother.) Pick quick and try not to think of what it would be like to be a migrant picker. That just makes your back hurt. By this time tomorrow, I'll have jam. And shortcake. I left a bucket on my neighbor's porch. He spread them out and took a picture for his Big Love Thing who lives very far away and likes to eat strawberries and beef jerky for supper. He has sad eyes. She'll be here to stay soon. I'm glad about that.
Today as I drove back over the Mountain toward home, I saw the sun fall like a crimson comet into the western part of the city. Now, the moon is coming up under Vulcan and the WBRC sign, just to the left of the first tower. It's almost time to sleep, so I'll put on my white pajamas and crawl under my quilt. Lately, I've been sleeping underneath just the quilt. It makes me feel loved. Tomorrow for breakfast, I'll have strawberries and bread left on my porch by a kind stranger. I'm not used to affection of that sort. It feels like a massage: theraputic and a little painful. I hang on the cusp of anger and acceptance. This feels like grief. I send it to the Cross. Amen. Good Night.