The Widow Lundstrom Remarries; South Dakota, 1914


You could call him John or David or Anthony or Wilbur. It didn’t really matter.
So Wilbur, thinking about it with his eyes fluttering, Wilbur says, “Right,” he says.
“Think I’ll have soma et there.” Only he ain’t pointing at no ice cream.
“What I want is some participatin’”. Participatin’s the real deal.”

Don’t ask me about it. I keep my god on a short leash. It bites. Like a husband.

“Oh slatternly visage,” he moans to his own damned image in the mirror like he
thought some Shakespeares were in the next room, “ain’t no place like Fargo to push out
the next part of it.”

He never liked visitors, glued a thorn to the push-bell just before the persistent
hay-colored voice of reed-stems began humming beneath the first snow.

“She puppy-dog eyed me like I should rush to her side, so I asked which way she
wanted me first,” says Wilbur, he says. “The next time I hafta counsel me a
nymphomaniac, I’m gonna pre-pair, I am.”

A mind like a crock of milk, that man. My first emptied out, but this one stayed full
and thickened quickly. I don’t have to tell you it soured.

“And when we’s done, Honey,” says Wilbur, he does, so’s John or David or
Anthony could hear, who ain’t but Wilbur all over again, “it ain’t gonna be me with
nothin’ but snorin’ into the middle of next week. Sa-tis-fied.”

Meantime the wind is howling and stacking up tiny flakes of ice against the
window and talking to the cracks in the wall and nobody but nobody is prepared for what
really happens. Which isn’t much, despite the conflict.
Which could take a very long time beneath all that snow.

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.