Fifteen years ago, there was a two-story house across the road from these flowers. An American Foursquare. Probably 80, 90 years old at the time.
A woman stood on the top step of the house shaking rugs. (I think she did that; maybe I’m remembering I need to shake my own rugs.)
I waved to her more than once as I went by. We never talked.
I think the mailbox was on this side. Everyone else’s is.
You can imagine people–friends, maybe relatives, maybe the insurance agent–had 2209 East Santa Fe Road written down somewhere so they could send her birthday cards.
(My mother kept a list of names, addresses and phone numbers inside a plastic three-ring binder sleeve on the south wall next to a construction-equipment calendar and a rotary phone between the kitchen counter and the picture window. That was a few decades before the Washington tornado.)
I imagine she planted these flowers, and she must have gathered at least a handful in a vase each spring.
Wouldn’t you think? Anyway.
The house sat empty a long time. What paint there’d been disappeared. The steps dropped to one side. Brush grew up all around.
One day there was a machine next to the house, and a few days later there was no house next to the machine–just bricks from the foundation.
The bricks are still there.
Whoever operated the machine–an excavator? Tracks? Upside-down bucket on a long articulated arm? Must have been an excavator, and maybe a bulldozer–also cut up several trees.
The trunks still line the back of the property.
Only the garage remains. A wooden martin house seems ready to drop onto the roof with the next high wind.
There’s a rectangular hole the size of an Eames lounge chair and ottoman in the garage door and above the hole, the letters WWJD.
(BTW, I like to think he would finish the job, maybe make a village’s worth of dining tables out of the trunks. I’m told he was a decent carpenter.)
Forsythia and lilac bushes run along the road across the way, from the driveway to the west end of the lot behind me. Must be, what, four hundred feet?
They’re about to bloom, too.