Lené Gary and Jenny Forrester

Lené Gary

Jenny Forrester
Inspiration piece

My three chickens fed in the alley, and I watched over them, my triangle-shaped knitting bag with the handy wrist loop dangling. I worked on many pairs of socks for His size thirteen feet in that alley watching over chickens. When he left, he left all those socks. Huge socks, tiny stitches. A pair of arm warmers for his long, long arms. He left me to deal with the years of us, taking nothing, telling me not to take it personally that he wanted to start over with all the things, and saying sorry he couldn’t help more. He said, “I’m sorry it’s not better.”

I was sorry, too.

I walked today in the quiet cold. It snowed inches and inches today. Horse, my car, had never been covered in so much snow. She’s snug under the weight of it, waiting for the plow to come. A freight train covered in snow idled by the snowy creek and I knew my solitude in a way that I’ve always wanted to know it, but didn’t have the courage to step into.

Sometimes, we’re thrown out into the cold. Sometimes, we land in the soft bank of it and sometimes, it’s just cold.

The creek was breathtaking, and a man in a blue coat was fishing, huddled into it the way you have to. The cottonwoods were dry and tangled and the sky was pale and winter. The wetland stream above the earthen, flood control dam, slate gray and turning to slush. A pair of ducks flew by and a murder of crows flew high in the gray chill.

Everyone on the walk said hello – the thin running man in stripes, perfect posture, the man on the bike, layered, the woman with her red coat smiling, too, together in our shared desire for this kind of solitude.

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