Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Her father is in town after a season of injuries and no work, no money, still, she knows there are ice skates under the tree they cut down from the riverbank. All night it has snowed, soft, forgiving flakes. He cracks walnuts, and her mother smokes. At midnight he puts on his boots and she follows him, cigar hanging from his mouth, hands clasped behind his back. They arrive at a church before midnight and sit on the hard pews at the back, her father taking deep breaths and longing for Latin, which is getting harder and harder to find he says, because of missals and bulls, the modernization of the church, a point he disagrees with in a sad, resigned way, because especially in this wild land of pioneering men, His lambs are lost. So lost that some days, he tells her, he is convinced he will never find the peace of God. And later, as they walk home, feet scrunching, snow falling so slow it seems to scarf around their ears, her cheeks hurt from the idea of him. And when she begins to skip ahead it is because she is laughing, because she believes these snowflakes will never melt.

from Teeth Marks, Nightwood 2005