Dozing next to a window that overlooks the vegetable garden and

by Ana Garza G’z

Pa snapping the paper open over a cloud of coffee, Ma with her lunch bag pitting knife jangling keys, the neighbor’s doberman drumming a piss castanet against the redwood fence eight feet past the vegetable yard, Ma’s car coughing in the driveway, a mockingbird pecking single chirps like pruning shears and flapping its wings over the year’s first nearly ripe tomato, the doberman barking skyward, the damp and cool of 7:00 a.m. In the San Joaquin Valley in a rain year in July in a time when the drought slipped away, bursting from the garden into being with arms shoulders breasts waist hips, flicking dust mud grass stains from a skirt–shameless at the window screen, softer wetter winking as she stands beyond the sill, a plane shushing overhead, the wind settling on the eaves like tresses falling into place, the quiet hum of Ma’s old Pontiac in the driveway, the jays hacking, the neighbor’s dog snapping growling splashing after a rat, a kitchen chair pushing hard against polished tile, the scent of humus rising like mist from the vegetable yard’s thighs, Pa sneezing on his way over the stoop, the onions corn watermelon vines unfolding leaves stems buds before the fruit, rustling like a petticoat that drops to cover knees and ankles against the rain.

Ana Garza G’z is a community interpreter and translator living and working in central California. More of her work can be found on the web at Salt River Review and (forthcoming) in The Able Muse.

Back to Issue Four: Summer 2009