Eternity #2: The Shed

A storm comes through over night, and while everyone sleeps in heaven my grandfather walks out to the backyard and watches the tree tops snapping like the plaits of whips. He sees two clouds passing overhead, sideways, coiling and uncoiling like snakes. God continues to warn my grandfather about the sin of regret.

Even still, he thinks.  

When he wakes up the next morning, he looks: the shed stands. He pours coffee for himself. He puts on his brown socks, draped to dry over the ironing board in the mud room, and slips on the only pair of shoes he brought with him.

Now he checks the garden. Now he picks up limbs around the yard.

Now he turns the radio to the gospel station. In heaven my grandfather ties his carpenter’s apron with tender fingers and goes back to work another day on the shed—measuring spaces for the posts and slats, hanging the pulley and bucket by eye-bolt, cutting windows with a sabre saw and sinking ten-penny nails, a man who has lost the good things of his life against his will.

Bird Report

1. One mourning dove alone on a wire, still waiting for the meeting to start.

2. One turkey vulture contemplating deer bones in a field.  

3. One sparrow flying past my windshield at turbo speed into a pine tree. Before it lands, its wings fan-out like drag car parachutes.