>juneberry pie warming on the dash


In the ebb and flow of trying to fly back home from Washington, DC a friend sent a link to a news article to read while I waited at Gate 22. Across the ocean and underneath one of the oldest cities in Europe, a network of underground caves holds that city up. It’s illegal to crawl around in that depth of centuries-old-murky-history, but there are those who do it anyway.  And why? Because they’ve discovered that coming to terms with whatever it is underneath the ground you stand on can make you strong.
My connections from Point A to Potential Point B to Possibly Point C to Hometown Point D were scrambled. At one point I had a collection of four different boarding passes, in case Plan B fell through, Delta had arranged for Plan C and D for me. I was beginning to forget what home could feel like.
Home is my solid ground. I should take it with me wherever I go, right?  Home is when a brother sends a text:  Do you have a four-mile walk in you today? 
The weather is blustery when he shows up. Inside the cab of his pickup, the defroster is humming and keeping ice off the windshield. Two red-lidded tupperware bowls are warming on the dash. Juneberry pie from the Hutterrites. For later- after we’ve finished our brisk walk.
We start out in gopher heaven. Only a few grandfather gophers are out. Between here and there we weave through squirrel country and shallow platters of frozen ponds. Can we find the ice that cracks beneath our step? The ice that gives good glide? And what is this — a scattering of feathers?
i could not bring myself to take a photo of the fluff.
I stop to examine every find, every feather. My brother has been here before. He doesn’t look down; he looks up and points. Ahead and towering over the railroad tracks are the grain elevators. Remember the Murphy kid? – he asks: He shoveled grain in the silos during high school. Murphy wasn’t afraid to climb the ladders to the top.
And at the top of the silos are tracks of sticky tape roosting pigeons  get stuck to. The grain company cannot risk having pigeon droppings mixing with the grain. Murphy’s job was to collect the pigeons in a cage to be delivered to the trap and shoot club.
But the baby pigeons? My brother pauses and gestures to the downy fluff frozen to the ground near the tip of my boot. Those are their feathers, he says quietly. Baby pigeons cannot fly.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

5 responses to “>juneberry pie warming on the dash

  1. >Thanks for the flower at the end, weeping and drooping.I heard the underground tunnels story on NPR!Oh, my, juneberry pie!

  2. >Tears for the little ones in this world. Thanks for not showing the feathers….

  3. >Something so comforting about a juneberry pie warming on the dash. A long walk in familiar territory sets me back on solid ground after traveling as well. It can be surreal to think that 24 hours before, you were somewhere far away from these everyday simplicities. Hope your trips were a success….welcome back to blog land!(and your home as well)

  4. >Homeland. Comfort. Brother. More comfort.Wonderful post.

  5. >you are all so perceptive. (!) i suspect we walk similar ground…

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