There Has Been A Man
At our bridge now
in a row.
hunched over the creek
I am suspicious.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is no poet, and she knows it. But she can copy William Carlos Williams and his plums.
Thursday when we came home from school, there was a pudgy man standing on the edge of the low water bridge. No, he wasn't going to jump. Even if he did, he would land in ankle-deep water three feet below. No, he was just standing there, looking at something, but not turning his head towards T-Hoe when I stopped at the mailbox row.
"Um...he looks weird. Kind of like a hunchback," said The Pony, whose job it is to get out and fetch the mail.
"I think you can outrun him. Go ahead and get the mail."
It's not that I'm heartless. But SOMEBODY has to get the mail. And The Pony is faster than me. And what if that guy was just hanging around waiting for us to leave, so he could raid the mailboxes? His car was parked across the bridge, on the little driveway to a padlocked gate that leads to nowhere. I thought about taking out my phone and pretending to take a picture. But you never know. Sometimes people get riled up when they think you're stealing their soul. Or getting their license number.
As we gassed T-Hoe to turn into our gravel road, a young boy came up out of the creek, carrying a water bottle. Surely he wasn't filling it with drinking water. That's just asking for intestinal distress. But then again, if he was trying to catch minnows, the mouth of a water bottle is too small. I sped off and tried to forget about him.
Friday, I dropped The Pony at Elementia to do his tutoring, and went on a bill-paying spree, Momless, leaking a few tears every now and then. My plans for a blood test fell through, so I came back home until time to pick up The Pony. He doesn't drive, you know.
As I left our gravel road, there was that creepy man again, standing by the bridge. It was 2:05 p.m. The Pony joined me when school let out, and we rushed home to avoid a dark raincloud. The skies were spectacularly purple, and I saw the makings of a roll cloud. Such joy was quickly distinguished when I crested the hill on the homestretch toward EmBee at 3:30, and saw that creepy hunchback standing on the bridge. Now there was also an older model chipped-paint white Ford pickup parked on the wrong side of our gravel road, as if coming out.
"Yuck. Him again," said The Pony.
"He's been here since I left! There had better be room for me to get in there!" I idly threatened. Because what would I do, really? There was not exactly OR ELSE that I could imply.
The Pony got the mail, keeping a wild eye on the visitors. He scrambled back in. And a young boy climbed out of the truck carrying a water bottle, and went off with the creepy hunchback.
I don't know what is going on here. But if I was a fiction writer, my dark side might show itself.