49. of like a tiny little metal car, a tiny-tiny motor, like a stainless roller bearing rolling, rolling, rolling on a circular track, the heartbeat strong after a decade of war.
51. of an old brittle photo of a boy perched like a brown quail or a blue tattoo-star on the strong Irish arm of a black & white man in a brittle old photo.
58. fire does, and catechism and monstrance, and smoke so thick the little dog barks.
60. méa cúlpa, méa cúlpa, méa máxima cúlpa.
64. the cemetery where she sits and waits is full of heretics, bullies and flunkers.
66. sun spills like words from melting crayons.
70. fat chalk white letters on the backs of their wooden fatigue shirts, 1 boy checks the other boy to read which way 2 run.
72. for one second, lives pass each other going opposite directions.
75. for every old sweater, a smoke, and for every smoke, another burnt Chicago angel.
78. in that lovely eye a flower petal forever’s blew.
79. cutting torch sparks pecker every syllable of wirerim’s glasses with imagined white bandages between black keys.
81. a million blackbirds gathered over deer standing on the uneven temple roof, then vanished like heat in wind.
84. to stand on the rim of the rainforest far above the glass lake is to forget Apollo ever.
87. the 2 hour trek up the mountain to Bugarama on the old Peugeot track bike with the bent frame and hard leather racing seat only takes 15-minutes going down, half-naked boys in front of mud houses along the road cheering and cheering.
91. the Ink Spots sing on New Year’s Day for free in the Quarter while old women dance around tables spinning little red parasols.
93. knifed and left for bled on Ocean Road in Dar, wrassled to the wound a Ugandan Samaritan, Sebastian the Good.
99. of a persistent runny nose and broken wires, carefully hidden sweet biscuits and hard sucking-candy can no longer sustain life of wife and mother.
01. even when razed to rubble, taking the advice of horse thieves and liars is never wise.
06. the little dog can’t live forever : words suddenly become words.
08. though the police battle with themselves to maintain shudder, the tawny police dog guarding the tall black man is peaceful.
09. of life, and the wife and the children and all the grandkids and brothers and sisters and dogs, and everyone else scribbled in fat crayon on the mirror that is the unfinished book, is why.
To read all 60 reasons, go The Small of America.
Minnesota writer Tom Driscoll reports on politics, economic development and life in rural America at The Small of America.
Note: The cheerful staff of Bluestem Prairie wish Tom a happy 60th birthday.