A Bower Quiet

Reynolds lowered himself into the hammock with a deftness that belied his girth. Dropping his right shoulder he was suddenly belly up, swinging wildly a moment then settling into a comforting sway, the nylon chords groaning in sympathy with the hardware that attached it to the metal frame. His nephew Jared dithered at the back door.

Behold the conquering oaf, thought Reynolds, casting his eyes into the canopy of oak leaves.

Jared hauled a chair off the porch, one of the Adirondacks Marion spent so much time in near the end. He barked a shin in the process and was puffing by the time he sat down, only to stand up sharply and remove the sheaf of papers he had folded once lengthwise and put in his back pocket.

-I'm sure gonna miss her, Uncle Reynolds.

Reynolds said nothing but continued to swing, aware that this left Jared uncertain where to go next. Jared sat awhile with a worried forehead, smoothing the crease he’d made down the center of the pages. After a while, he offered to fetch a glass of iced tea from the kitchen.

-Help yourself, Reynolds said. I'm fine.

-Sure I can't get you anything?

Reynolds rocked a while and Jared waited, clearly uncertain whether to ask again, or to sit back, or just go on into the house and look for that iced tea. The boy did look thirsty. But instead he sat. Eventually Reynolds spoke.

-If you go in the house, bring me that bottle of sour mash on the counter and a jelly jar. You still abstemious?

Jared sat up straight.

-Yes, I am, Uncle Reynolds.

-Well, then. Don't bother bringing a glass for yourself.

Image: Home Tree by talented flickr user Jason A. Samfield, used under a Creative Commons license.


Nick said...

southern dread....

Lee said...

He never outran it, despite having lived in Oak Park for 30 years.