Once she was brightly colored, this Natalie, yellow, orange or reddish with black markings, or black with yellow to reddish markings. She was abundant and well-known, predaceous on aphids, scale insects, mites and pests. They tried to use her commercially, but what she says comes out completed. Its bones have been waiting for her.
Natalie’s hands have been having a conversation with absent hands.
Others like Natalie overwinter in groups, sometimes in tremendous numbers. Mexican Bean and Squash women have joined this family. Even water accelerates their dull life. That rain is inside me, said the preacher Natalie had become. Perhaps that is where we have buried the sunshine?
Several of the children were ponies, however, and would not stand still. Natalie’s life fell into her book, the one she couldn’t finish, the one without an ending. Lord, You have given us what we need. Do not be so stingy.
Sooner or later, the flavor of the soil opens, and Natalie answers with her hands. I live on the roof where there is no house. When I was small enough, I always wondered who would still fit inside. A punctuated laugh, too correct to be authentic.
That evening, I begin reading my goat, but he eats my bookmark, and I have to start over. The story of Natalie, however, does not start over.
What I like to think isn’t happening shouldn’t even be thought of, but I keep thinking I should consider everything carefully before I dismiss it, which becomes anti-climactic, and therefore, a little more boring than that which isn’t even happening.
I rearrange the animals. I place reasoning in front of them. They are Natalie’s animals. They are making animal noises.
Natalie’s hands have been continuing a conversation with absent hands.
Others like Natalie have appeared in small groups, and some of the groups seem to be asking for affection, but if you touch them, they crumble. Natalie does not crumble. Perhaps that is where we have buried the sunshine?