Fourth

Today 6.4 earthquake rattled the spur of land stretching between Death Valley and downtown where dreams are dashed.

And here I sweat on the screen porch taking in the endless human hums from the park nearby–oh how to scream like a child swimming in summer! – the whippoorwill, the engines passing by the old folks, where babies used to be born (I met two), talk about from the cradle to the grave.

It’s summer like I remember, slightly stifling til you’re submerged in cool water, ours a pond, but now all kids in this St. Charles fiefdom are peeing unilaterally in the Powatasookee or, more appropriately, POTTAWATOMIE park pool, mini golf, tennis and ducks-plus fireworks.

This porch reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor or perhaps my mother is a fish but the threat of tornadoes far from exhilarating and my good aunt Jackie has died, and it feels so long ago they things were right.