Two, Not-So-Random Visitors

A young AmeriCorps worker stops by looking for information about how small town Vermont government works and brings a crabapple pie he baked.

The pie is deep-dish, about the size of a dinner plate. He’s tall and cheerful and tells me about his dog named Mindy. Eventually, I give him a paper map and tell him to drive around town. I highlight one section of the map in yellow. Here, I tell him, is one especially beautiful stretch of dirt road, high above a lake. He’s driving his grandmother’s hand-me-down Toyota Corolla.

Good luck, I say as he leaves.

When he’s gone, a friend stops in, looking for town info, too. The sunlight comes through the windows. I offer her a piece of pie. We talk and talk. She finally says, I feel like I haven’t seen anyone in so long.

The strange thing is, I feel that way, too. We keep eating pie. The young baker has peeled the crabapples, one by one, to sweeten the pie. We eat the whole thing, and then I wash up the plates and forks.

There was earth inside them, and they dug.”

— Paul Celan
Hurray for autumn garden.