They approached him as if his mind
were a cactus, when it was really a colorful
old bus on its way through the desert.
“A Sad Mistake”
Songs and Letters, January 7, 2008
I picture a man with a typewriter in his lap, sitting on an old wooden chair beside a rusted mailbox, a field of wildflowers behind him. There is paper in the typewriter. Looking down from behind round wire rims, he is writing a letter. The mailbox is open, its depths obscured by shadow. Memory, in the form of a butterfly, looks on from his shoulder. The road, rarely traveled, is at his feet. He wears a gray hat with a high, rumpled crown, but no shoes. He has just written the words, reality is a poor excuse, when something catches his eye — a flicker, a pause, a change in the light — that’s it — right where time left him — night.