Brent House

As a child growing up in South Mississippi, I was given the chore of plucking the fascicles of pine needles that had fallen into the zigzag of the chain-link fence surrounding our family home; so, on a Saturday morning after a week of late-summer storms, I would carry a small metal bucket to the edge of our yard, I would pluck the needles fallen from forest to the wire, and, before I placed the fascicles in the bucket, I would press each sharp needle against my sun-darkened skin, blanched myself white, for a moment. For longer moments, I would rest in the pine shade, and, as I laid my head on the needles I placed around the roots of the pines, I would look back to the house, and I would rest, sometimes dream of a fence clean and rust-less, as falling needles returned to the twists of the red-orange-brown wires.


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