My daughter texts me at work: My car is stuck in the mud.
Snap, I think. I continue what I’m doing, thinking my girl can likely solve whatever she’s gotten into now. It’s the last day of February, 2018, a day so warm I’ve propped open the library door. The lilies are pushing up around the school, and I step outside with a patron to watch a woolly bear inching its way across the walk.
My daughter, laughing, calls me and tells me she could no longer drive her little Toyota on a muddy road. I just stopped! In her nice Danskos, she stayed in her car, surrounded by glistening mud. The town road crew, working nearby, asked if she was going to move, and she explained her predicament. The road commissioner had her slip over to the passenger seat. He floored her car, drove it free, and suggested she might want to stay off that stretch of road.
….I, who so often used to wish to float free
of earth, now with all my being want to stay,
to climb with you on other evenings to this stone,
maybe finding a bear, or a coyote, like
the one who, at dusk, a week ago, passed
in his scissorish gait ten feet from where we sat—
this earth we attach ourselves to so fiercely….
— Galway Kinnell