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Am I a cow girl yet?

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On Dawn Lane it doesn’t get dark too early these days. On Sunday I bought a plastic bird bath at a yard sale for two bucks. The wind keeps blowing it over so when June comes I will fill the center of it with rocks to keep the thing from coming apart and blowing away.

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Today, the sky is gray in clumps with a mild reflection from the sun. The morning glory’s have their faces open, teeth eager to get their food for the day. Later on we were awakened from the quiet of the evening on the porch during the resting part of our day from flashing red and blue lights. Hours earlier I put transplanted wild flowers in my garden, I had watered it twice by the time the lights caught our attention. My one purple and white pansy was off its stem but I placed it back down on the ground where I found it.

When the emergency trucks came the dogs were quiet. It was long after the morning glories had folded up for the night. I couldn’t even find on open morning glory as I had been thinking about digging another one up to grow in another corner in my garden. The shovel shimmied in the wind…and it got harder to separate the roots as the darkness came.

The next morning as I went around and watered my plants, old man Vernon, stone deaf like a boulder, rode by in his red truck. He yelled out, “Been droppin’ like flies ‘round here I can tell you that. The lord took Lady Hanson last night.” I didn’t answer, but my eyes were fixated on Vernon’s old, white, loss-of-collagen,crinkly skin as they should be. Death among the flowers: The rooted and the growth in front of me with tender new life, leaves and newly bloomed flowers, bopped up and down in the morning breeze.

Lady Hanson, the old lady who lived on the corner for decades, had her final trip in an ambulance. She drove off in a flashing truck. She always waved to me during my morning walk, in her pinafore and dress covered in a black and paisley apron that she wiped her hands on whether she needed to or not.

The weeds I had been meaning to pull out of the ground for days were full of pink wild flowers this morning. Up against the concrete slab where the house begins, they bloomed out like a fan --- hand painted in fine lines and curves. I read on one of the flower packages that the plants bloom two times in a season. In this early sun on the perennial plants I put into the ground about a month ago, new buds are showing. New life and the dead share the same roots. They live off the nutrients of the soil and the water from the hose even though they are at different places in their formation.

It may be a little while before the dead flower part blows off and delivers seeds into wet pockets of the yard. I will keep looking for them in their new homes. Maybe Lady Hanson will stay on her land like a flower that lives in its place even after the color has left her petals.

Vernon drove off at two miles an hour with his hand out the window as he held onto his cigarette.

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