Moral Lessons


The ladder fell down and was ignored until the weeds grew high enough to cover it.
Then someone tripped, someone going nowhere in a hurry. Brushing the weeds from his
torn clothing, someone looked down at the lost ladder and changed plans.
The apple tree had fallen in a storm and it was miles to the next one and the tree’s
falling had left a perfectly fine hole where the apple tree had been.
I don’t know who I am and I don’t want to feel sorry for him.
We thought there would be more clothing on the girl. Then we thought we should
appreciate it if there wasn’t but we didn’t. We watched her get dressed and accepted her
maneuvers. We welcomed her into the folded door, which was not her door and only on
the way, but you had to be on the way first. Then you could figure out which side was the
inside and open out.
I might not be the kind of goon that seems to get along with everybody but never
stays anywhere very long. Smooth in passing. Gone before anyone can hold on to what
they’ve begun to suspect.
She appeared to be a bit heftier on the upside. She appeared to teeter but never
faltered. She was capable of amazing feats of unexpected grace.
Sometimes the best caresses are achieved by the addition of static electricity but
this is risky when the fur is too dry. It can feel like a herd of mice pulling at the hair
follicles and cannot be adequately concluded at the end of each separate stroke.
You think about it, but you don’t say it.
She was placed on the registration marks and asked to stay. The instructions were
not handwritten.
I felt like you were doing something for me that I would rather have done for
myself. I just didn’t know what it was.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.